2012 Arts Project

Windows Walls & Wishes Towards 2012 & Beyond Phase 2 2011 - 2012

In partnership with South Bucks District Council

The second phase of Windows Walls & Wishes 2102 Visual Arts got underway in September and MONA LISA Arts & Media engaged professional artists to facilitate arts workshops in the Burnham Cluster of Schools and with Transformers Youth Group. A new development of the work was focused around the theme of Olympic Angels in response to the Olympic and Paralympic Spiritual Values: Peace, Unity, Friendship, Courage, Respect, Excellence, Endurance, Inspiration, Aspiration. The artists worked with children and young people aged 9 – 16 yrs leading up to 2012. They were encouraged to think about ideas and concepts of Angels to create sculptures, installations, paintings, drawings, textiles etc. These were then be installed in various locations e.g., Taplow Court, Burnham Beeches, St Peter's Church, St Peter's School and others in the local area. The finished pieces formed the basis of an arts trail as part of the Legacy of 2012.

Princess Project in Burnham working in partnership with MONA LISA Arts & Media

A performance piece as part of the 2012 Olympic Celebrations

Sian Thomas and Miranda Kingsley co-founded Lucid Incident in 2007 with the aim of making interdisciplinary outdoor theatre work that involves and resonates on different levels, with a surreal aesthetic and where collaboration (between professionals, and with participants) is at its core. With this shared ethos they conceived of and wrote a project called 'The Box', receiving Arts Council funding in 2009 to research and develop their ideas with practitioners of different disciplines (including artists, musicians, dancers and engineers).

Sian Thomas comes from a background as both performer and choreographer. Through her work as Festival director at street arts festival Hat Fair (for eight years) she has been driven by the transformation of communities through celebration of their place. Currently she has a tap dance street show 'Sink Dancing' on tour which she both wrote and directed. Miranda Kingsley has a background as an actor, teacher and director. She has long been excited by the many possibilities of theatre making through the crossing of boundaries between the different art forms, and between performers and the public. Currently she teaches and directs at Chichester University.

The core team: Daniel Clark (musical director), Anna Carlisle (movement director), Mike Pattison (theatrical engineer), Paul Harrison (maker and animator), Lucy Bradridge and Emma Wreyford (costume), are all highly experienced in their respective fields.

Lucid Incident produced the premiere of 'Brass Windows' at Durham Festival in July 2013.

Children from St Peter's C of E School and and young people from the Transformers Youth Group created and made banners for the Princess Project in Burnham.

Angel Workshops in Schools, January - July 2012

Artists Rhonda Fenwick, Gina Martin and Lynda Cornwell facilitated angel workshops in more schools in the local area including Eton Wick C of E School and St Nicolas's C of E School Taplow. The children explored ideas and concepts about angels of courage and aspiration for work that was installed in Taplow and Cliveden. A school visit was organised for Eton Wick school to Cliveden so that the children could see the space where there angel was to be installed and to feel inspired. They made angels using their body shapes from found objects and natural materials from the landscape. When in school the children created an angel camp from a tree and sheeting, they sat in it and imagined what an angel of aspiration would look like and how it felt to be in an angel camp, saying it felt peaceful and was a fun place to be. The children were also introduced to Haiku poetry and wrote their own Haiku's on angel wings made out of white cotton material which they decorated with images and text.

The children from St Nicolas's C of E School Taplow created the angel of courage which was installed outside of their school on the village green in between some trees. Their angel was decorated with images and text they made during the workshops. The process included talking about angels and what an angel of courage could look like and what it meant to have courage.

A powerpoint presentation was shown to the children including a variety of artists work to help stimulate ideas and concepts e.g., Chris Ofili Turner Prize Winner, Willem De Kooning, Aboriginal Artists, Anthony Gormley, Jake & Dinos Chapman to name but a few. It also included images of different kinds of angels including angels from the bible, various art movements and genres including film and drama, such as Wim Wenders play Wings of Desire the inspiration for the Hollywood film City of Angels.

The children were also shown various examples of art and mediums in which to paint and draw their angels e.g., abstract art, dot painting, collage, watercolours, acrylics, rock art and so on.

Thoughts from the children about courage...

Never Give Up, Keep On Going, Coming To Live In A Different Country, Always Be Brave, Strong Heart, Tigers, Determined, Hopefulness, Believe In Yourself, When I Started School I Was Brave, New People Talking To You And You Talking To Them, Lions

Hopes Dreams & Wishes and the Inspiring Olympic Star - Jonathon Edwards Triple Jump Gold Medallist

Jonathon Edwards, visited Dorney Lake, where he was joined by 50 children from Dorney School and took part in arts workshop organised by MONA LISA Arts & Media, facilitated by artists Rhonda Fenwick and Lynda Cornwell.

The world record holder, who won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, told the children about his journey to success before joining in with them to make their origami dreamboats. They wrote, drew and decorated their hopes dreams and wishes on their dreamboats. It was a great day for all and Jonathon was an inspiration to everyone.

Some comments from the children:- "the best day ever" "awesome" "brilliant" "wish we could do it again" "fantastic"

The first round of workshops began with:

Rhonda Fenwick: Artist/Film-maker and Gina Martin: Sculptor working with Transformers Youth Group who were interested in Manga Art (Japanese Art Form). Over a number of weeks the young thought about making a Manga Angel which to be installed in Taplow Court, home to Soka Gakkai International (SGI), the Japanese Buddhist organisation. Transformers undertook drawing, painting and making small pieces of sculpture to work through various ideas and concepts of what a Manga Angel may look like. The finished piece was a wood sculpture made by Gina Martin that incorporated some of the ideas and concepts generated by the young people. They decided they wanted their Manga Angel to be an Angel of Peace.

Both Rhonda and Gina have worked in St Peter's C of E School Burnham working with a group of eight children who need extra help. They made drawings, small sculptural pieces made of tin foil and some angels made from felt. It was decided that the Angel for St Peter s School would be made in metal and be installed outside at the front of the school, The St Peter s Angel will be an Angel of Friendship. The finished piece was made by Gina Martin.

Lynda Cornwell: Artist held workshops with students in Burnham Grammar School and included a visit to Burnham Beeches for their finished piece was installed in the ancient woodland. Lynda carried out a number of workshops and then committed some of the ideas and concepts generated by the students to creating the Angel for Burnham Beeches.

There was an interim exhibition to showcase the work in April 2012 in Burnham Park Hall. We also took part in a larger exhibition to be held in the New Century Hall Taplow Court May – September 2012. These two exhibitions included the work of the children and artists and were open to the general public.

Turner Prize winner artist Martin Creed asked that all the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes on the morning of 27th July to celebrate the start of the 2012 Olympics. A group of people from St Peter's Church Burnham did just that during the morning at 8.12am and then again at 12 noon and 4pm in the afternoon. The church tower bells and handbells were rung out as loudly as possible to herald the opening of the Games.

In Cornerstone, St Peter's Church hall we held a Palm Court for the week beginning of the 27th July as part of our Olympic celebrations, the hall was set up with chairs and tables suitably laid with vases of flowers, vintage crockery and white tablecloths, palms on loan to us from Palmbrokers all helped to set the scene. We had Jenny Dobson on piano, the Gore Handbells, Burnham Handbells, singing from Emily Slatter and Lisa Warburton on violin. People came in and sat down to a fine Englilsh afternoon tea whilst listening to a selection of music and song. Everyone said how much they enjoyed it and thought it was better than the Ritz.

The Olympic Angels Arts & Flowers Exhibition included works from artists Rhonda Fenwick, Gina Martin, Lynda Cornwell and Andy Holt with angel installations from members, friends and children from St Peter's Church and the local community. The floral arrangements represent different Olympic sports such as rowing, equestrian, cycling, wheelchair basketball, sailing and there is also a beautiful floral display on the Victorian Font entitled Olympic Rainbow. A group of knitted Olympians are on display as part of the exhibtion again depicting different Olympic sports such as Gymnastics, Discus, Weightlifting, Swimming and so on.

MONA LISA Arts & Media and St Peter's Church are pleased to have been able to make this contribution to the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics as a way of marking this moment in history never to be repeated in most people's lifetime.