My Biggest Canvas yet !

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So, every year I offer to do an art class at my kids school and for the past few years none of the teachers took me up on it. This year however , my sons class along with another 5th class , had the amazing opportunity of doing a musical with a proper musical theatre/ drama teacher and I thought it the perfect opportunity to offer my services by way of completing the set for the show !

This was met with great enthusiasm so the first task was to go about the design and figuring out how I could make it happen using a limited budget ! 

So the musical they decided to do was the ‘Big Bad Musical https://www.pioneerdrama.com/searchdetail.asp?pc=BIGBADMUSI which is a hilarious courtroom drama set in an enchanted forest with the characters made up from various brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales. 

So I decided that, as the school has no existing stage/set to hang a giant canvas backdrop from, that it would fun to make the set completely out of paper and cardboard and avoid paint etc….. It could be stuck up anywhere and could be done fairly cheaply. As the teachers wanted to include a few more of the 5th classes in the project , I had to design something that could be produced using many hands and could be directed easily enough into a simple art collage lesson.

I did initial drawings and discussed these with the drama teacher Mary Rose Stauder. I then made a mockup ! She loved my idea of just making stage set in the forest with courtroom like furniture set pieces . I knew we would have to work with the background that was already there so I designed the large blue circles to represent the sky ! 

So the next step was to gather materials, which consisted of a lot of green paper ! and also I painted some of the plain sheets with one colour to create more textural sheets. Also we took a trip to recreate http://recreate.ie which is an amazing resource for schools to use recycled raw materials ready to use ! We managed to get very large sheets of cardboard to make the trees out of here ! 

So with the help of a few brilliant Mums and 6 X 5th classes, we completed the entire project in 2 days ! We had the added pressure of having to reschedule because of the recent snowfall but it was a fun exercise for all involved ! You will see how we collaged all the pieces together in the pictures and how it all came together for a fantastic result. Lots of tape, blue tack and glue used ! The brights colours really set the stage for a great colourful production with a ton of colourful characters. We managed to stick it all up on the wall using tape and blue tack !  and it looked fabulous !

To top it it off we were treated to an absolutely smashing performance by all the kids ! A fantastic experience from beginning to end for me and hopefully there will be more of this to follow in the future ! 

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2 Responses

  1. Celia

    That looks absolutely fabulous. I’m glad they eventually took you up on your great offer. I’m annoyed they took so long. Are they mad?
    What a joy to do art and with a teacher who wants kids to enjoy it. Maybe I’m biased because art was always my only favorite subject in school. I hated everything else. See you soon to begin my collection. Celia x

    • Emma Higgins

      Thanks a mil Celia ! It was lots of fun ! I find that a lot of primary schools are not promoting the arts as much as they could be but there seems to be new measures in place by the arts council in the form of professionals coming in to the schools that is being rolled out soon!

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