This month has seen The Royal Harbour Academy team up with KAMCOP (The Kent and Medway Collaborative Outreach Programme from The University of Creative Arts) to deliver a series of virtual art workshops on the upper site. These have consisted of cyanotype workshops and mindful ‘create calm’ workshops for years 10 and 11 art and photography students with more planned this week and early next term.
The cyanotype workshops involved students learning about the earliest form of photography before creating their own stunning prints. The Royal Harbour Academy has also been generously gifted not just the cyanotype papers and other resources needed but additionally the cyanotype lamp so they can continue this technique with students in the future without needing to loan one. The creative clay workshop allowed students mindful moments to play with the clay before being shown by a real life designer how to create clay pots in a variety of techniques. The air-dry clay creations will be painted in a future lesson. Students learnt how to use a variety of tools and for many of them it was the first time they had engaged with this medium. The mindful marks workshop featured students creating marks and drawings to music using resources kindly provided by KAMCOP. Each student interpreted this in their own unique way with some producing abstract and expressive marks while others drawing objects that came to mind with the sounds that they were hearing. Before each workshop students were provided with strategies for mindfulness and each workshop finished with a live Q&A with university staff, students and practising artists and designers. Students were able to find out about the courses and opportunities at UCA including workshops they could sign up to in their own time and an insight into future creative careers they could consider. Mrs Green, teacher of art at The Royal Harbour Academy said, “The workshops have been fantastic on every level. They have provided students with strategies to keep calm under stress – something very important at the moment with the anxieties surrounding Covid 19. They have allowed students to explore creative techniques and materials that we usually would not have been able to provide such as the cyanotypes. They have inspired students to try new things and be experimental with the materials. However, the most valuable part of the virtual workshop was the chance for students to ask questions about creative careers giving them aspiration for the future!” One of the students commented, “The workshop was fun to do and has given me ideas for my own projects. I also liked that KAMCOP gave us a stress ball to take away.” Another student stated “I hadn’t thought much before about how art can keep me calm. I guess I always turn to art when I am stressed and now I know of some new ways to do this.” A student interested in pursuing a degree in art said “I didn’t know what I wanted to do was possible, I am now very keen to learn more about the courses UCA has to offer so I know what I need to do to apply when I am old enough.”