WALK DON’T RUN

Whoosh

Blimey that was June flashing past,- blink and you’ve missed it (my Granny used to say)!  Bye, bye June.  I’d love to say it’ll have been all the bright sunshine and seasonal shabang; the barbi’s the ‘open air’ socialising, etc, etc, making it go so swiftly, but we all know that, until the recent heatwave, really wasn’t the case. June seems to have slipped quietly by for me; in a blur of all the normal family stresses, an abundance of knitted bunny rabbits, paint jobs, PR and a whole host of other such loveliness – all in the name of art…  

Horsforth Walk of Art to be specific.  For this weekend, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July it’s all going on around these parts.  I for one can’t wait to see how all the hard work pays off.  It promises to be a wonderfully artistic and communal affair, in fact it most definitely already is (all those lovely local people pitching in, helping one another, creating, teaching and sharing in the first, of what I hope is many, community creative projects of its kind, AND the sun might even shine – fingers crossed.

In the run up to the Horsforth Walk of Art, I’ve lost count as to just how many impressive ‘art’ projects have cropped up in the community.  There are, however, a few that I personally have been actively involved in:-

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Pupils at St Margaret’s C of E Primary School, joined forces with Penny Field School, Meanwood, and professional golfer Joe Heraty to create ‘Golf Art.’   A bizarre concept, for sure, but by linking a local celebrity and local businesses to such a venture it was all encompassing, and, I hasten to add, – it was heaps of fun and a huge success to boot.

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Joe Heraty, a pro golfer at Moor Allerton Golf Club, took a break from his PGA EuroPro 2015 Tour schedule to spend time with pupils to create and enjoy this sensory art experience, whilst, together with his two pro golfing colleagues; Lewis Clarke and Ellie Robinson, teaching the children some basic golfing skills, in a series of short fun sessions.

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The children were incredibly excited about being involved in the creation of art (out in the sunshine – I think the only really decent day in June), meeting Joe, Lewis and Ellie and doing something more than a little different.

After all, it’s not every day that you get the opportunity, in fact are actively encouraged, to hit a ball,  dripping with coloured paint, as hard as you can, against a blank canvas!   I’m pretty certain this was a first for everyone involved and I’m absolutely thrilled that it was so effective.

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The ‘Golf Art’ will be displayed in shop windows around Horsforth, including;  Waites & Co, Cats Protection and Hamilton’s Sandwich Shop, who are all kind enough to be supporting the Walk of Art and our endeavours.

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I myself put the installation (get me with my art lingo) in Hamilton’s sandwich shop early this morning, with the help of the lovely Dougie and his head for heights, (in between him cooking up various breakfast delights for passing customers), and I have to say they look really good.

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I’m so very proud of what the children have created, and, despite my dodgy window shot in the blazing sun (which really doesn’t do the canvasses justice), I’ve a feeling that Dougie and his customers will be sad to see the art removed once the weekend is over.

The art work created really is fabulous.  So much so, that after the Walk of Art weekend we’re planning to sell them off to raise funds for the Friends of Penny Field School Charity  http://opencharities.org/charities/1090237 .  If you’re interested please let me know.

At this juncture I have to say a massive THANK YOU to all those people that have helped to make these projects happen.  Lara (the instigator/Walk of Art catalyst if you will) set about on a mammoth task – but so many other people, schools and businesses have stepped up to make it all possible and the massive success that it is already proving to be –  and the weekend hasn’t even started yet!

I would personally like to thank Mark at Turner & Wood’s in Yeadon for the large container of Magnolia emulsion, that was imperative in preparation prior to the Golf Art event, for the upcycling of the donated canvasses – (I do hope the freshly baked honey biscuits I exchanged it for went well with your morning coffees!),  Morrison’s Horsforth for their kind donation of flower buckets and paint brushes, amongst other things, and to all those lovely people who supplied me with a wonderful array of brightly coloured paints _ I’m sure you’ll agree they’ve done their job.  I’d also like to extend a very special mention to my friend Eric and his generous team at www.bizzybee.co.uk who, for such a worthy cause, didn’t need any persuasion in sending me a whole host of rubber gloves and cleaning cloths which were just perfect for tidying up small children and equipment after the ‘Golf Art’ Project.  My favourite spotty cleaning cloths are now infamous!!

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Indeed to everyone involved, I honestly can’t thank you all enough for helping Mrs N and myself, and the whole of the ‘Golf Art’ team pull this off!

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IMG_5708 Giant Geoff the ‘Golf Art’ Bunny

will be hidden in St Margaret’s School over the weekend for the children to find when they return to school next week.  As they all helped to create him and his designer ‘splattered’ look – it’s only right that they have him as their own.  Good luck with your search kids!

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In addition, a group of St Margaret’s pupils, visited Penny Field School to work on a ‘Junk Art’ Project there.  The children worked together in using their individual skills and enjoyed the sensory experience of creating a ‘Tree for all Seasons’ as part of the Walk of Art competition run by, and to be displayed at, Courtyard Creativities.   Two hours of very enjoyable mess and frantic creativity and I think you’ll all be impressed with  the wonderful tree that the children have created.  (Pictures to follow – once I’ve got one of it in situ, as it’s so big the branches had to be dismantled and re-structured and I was too weak to carry it over.  Thanks Mr N for stepping in to help in both its safe construction and transportation). It’s so lovely to have brought the two schools together.  The way that the mainstream children helped and guided the Penny Fields pupils was such a lovely sight to behold.  Indeed Mrs N got a little emotional.

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It’s always hugely beneficial for Penny Field’s (special needs) pupils to interact with their mainstream peers; building friendships, learning through play and guidance.  Likewise, the St Margaret’s pupils benefited greatly from the experience, understanding the needs of their peers, nurturing, sharing and gaining equal enjoyment from the messy sensory art.

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These projects have created a wonderful array of masterpieces that we’re all really proud of, and, in doing so, has forged a friendship between the two schools.

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In the dead of night, my wheelie bins have been ‘art bombed.’ One evening two of my green bins were ‘art attacked’ by the impressive urban street art genii Fish Finger and Alien Pool.  Then just recently I had a third bin beautifully and effectively ‘flower bombed’ by Kat of www.splatterkats.com.  

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My bins have already caught the attention of friends and neighbours.  All the local bins that have been ‘art bombed’ will be lining the streets for Walk of Art making Horsforth all the more resplendent, together with a collection of shoes which have been lovingly painted and planted with seasonal blooms.

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In other parts of Horsforth bunnies are breeding like only rabbits can, and are ready to be hidden around Horsforth for the ‘If You Find a Rabbit Grab It’ Project which will encourage the participation of young families in the region.  

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Each individual rabbit is made from a hand-knitted square and has a unique look and name.  Families are encouraged to seek out a rabbit to rehome during the Walk of Art weekend.  There should be plenty of rabbits to find, as I myself have created over 100 and I know that the team of ‘Knit & Natter’ have at least doubled this.  What an industrious, creative community we are! If you find one please feel free to tweet with the hashtag #rabbitgrabit and tag @thewalkofart.

Striking signage and handmade bunting is already being hung over walls and streamed along perimeter fencing giving just a hint as to what is to come.

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Here’s some I made earlier modelled beautifully by my not so glamorous assistant/long-suffering husband!

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I’ve spent most the past two days making and icing buns for street stalls and the Teddy Bear’s Picnic tomorrow at Broadfields.

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Scarlett and I even made little bun flags … just in case anyone caught up in the event was even the  slightest bit unaware what all the fuss was about!  I know that receptacles will be dotted around the walks so anyone appreciating and indulging in what’s on offer can donate any loose change to one of the charities supported by the event.

This is only a mere taste of a whole host of talented local artists, of many different creative mediums, who are coming together to be displayed and applauded, collectively, with arty efforts from local schools and residents, to offer an all-encompassing arty affair for the Walk of Art weekend.  We just hope that the weekend is blessed with as much sunshine as we’ve enjoyed in the last couple of days, so all the planned outside activities and exhibits can be enjoyed and shown to the full. Horsforth Walk of Art, the brainchild of Horsfordian Lara Rule, has transpired to celebrate the creative sides of Horsforth, of which there are many, and all innovative artists, young and old, expressing themselves in many imaginative forms. 

Everyone is welcome to this FREE event on 4th and 5th July. Please visit http://horsforth-woa.org/ for more information.  Maps can be picked up at one of the many stops along the way … so please come along and join in the fun… and Walk don’t run – you’d be a fool to miss it!

Walk of Art This Weekend Banksy