Creative Climate Change Workshops for SEND families

Date Created: 15th Aug 2022

Young boy

In July, Artswork worked with Orinoco Scrap Store, Banbury, and Amelia Demicoli (artist) at Milton Keynes Arts Centre, in the beautiful Linford Park, to run a series of creative climate change workshops working with families to co-create resources. Artswork had identified that schools have some resources on tackling the issues of climate change but less is available for families using creative approaches.  

“Our young people ranged from 5yrs to 15 yrs of age, some with ADHD and ASD. The artists used natural objects, scrap materials for modelling, textiles, mud painting, storytelling and art to make  climate change come alive visually and creatively.”  

Amelia began by talking with the children about climate change – what it meant and what are the causes of it. Using photos of Andy Goldsworthy’s art they were inspired to find natural objects, leaves, flowers and seeds to make natural art, reconnecting themselves with nature. My favourite designs are this bird from feathers made by Lucy and this abstract art framed with sticks by Flavia.

A bird made by black and white feathers.
Art done by child

In contrast to natural art the families looked at waste and the art of Czech artist Veronika Richterova who designs structures out of plastic bottles, providing an alternative to recycling and highlighting the problems of plastic waste. They talked about using art to create change and inspired by her work families made designs ranging from flower sculptures, a cake with candles, a train and a machine to suck oil from the sea using waste materials from the scrap store. 

After talking about how trees are interconnected through their roots and fungi, and problems of deforestation, families responded to the theme of interconnectivity by making a large scale web installation using recycled materials. They also made their own hand woven piece of string art and made pledges about what changes they would make to live more sustainably. From this workshop the families got closer to nature and waste and took away new ideas for living more sustainably.

‘I want to put more things in the recycling bin and save animals by picking up rubbish’ 

‘Every time I see rubbish I want to pick it up’ 

‘I want to clean up my local park of litter’  

Young girl holding a cake

If you would like to learn more about running a day like this in your community, get in touch at mail@oxorinoco.org

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