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Contemporary Art Space Project In partnership with the RSA Academies Iniva Creative Learning

01 Oct 2019-01 Aug 2021

The Contemporary Art Space Project is a two-year programme of art-making and community engagement. The project reflects the RSA Academies‘ (Royal Society of the Arts Academies) Commitment to Arts, Culture and Creativity and Iniva’s ambition to develop their learning and education strand nationally.

At a point in time in which the study of arts and creative subjects are progressively marginalised from curricula, we would like to explore whether this project could prove to be an accessible, sustainable model to increase whole-school engagement in the arts and cultural learning.

This project will establish three outdoor contemporary art spaces in three RSA schools in the West Midlands through a collaborative process with pupils and their teachers. The schools involved are:
– Abbeywood First School (Reception – Year 4) in Redditch
– Arrow Vale RSA Academy (Year 9-13) in Redditch
– Holyhead School (Year 7-13) in Handsworth, Birmingham

The project is designed to develop young people’s sense of identity and explore what it means to be human through co-commissioning new artworks in response to social issues they identify as being important. The artworks will help schools develop and articulate their collective sense of mission and purpose and strengthen schools’ links with their communities.

Project Delivery

Each year a steering group of pupils from each school will work with an appointed artist (one artist per school) to explore a chosen theme. The artists will work with an art therapist to kick start a series of workshops that will develop artistic output, critical thinking and explore the relationship between contemporary art and emotional learning (as tried and tested through Iniva Creative Learning’s ArtLab programme).

Outcomes of the workshops will feed into a final artwork by the artist to be installed on school premises. An engagement programme will be delivered, encompassing the school community and wider public.

This year’s chosen theme is ‘Oracy’ and we are pleased to announce our appointed artists for CAS Year 1:

Rudy Loewe

Nilupa Yasmin

Laurie Ramsell

The artists will be supported by our appointed curator Josephine Reichart who will also work closely with the schools and management team over the two year duration of the project.

A final conference reviewing the project outcomes and celebrating the resulting six new artworks will be held at the RSA London in 2021.

Project Update 10 February 2020

The first of our artist commissions has been installed at Abbeywood First School. Silhouette of Sound by Laurie Ramsell was welcomed in to the Contemporary Art Space (a previously underused courtyard surrounded by classrooms) early January. The whole school took part in a launch event directed by both the curator and the steering group of Year 4 children: 200 children created a massive collaborative drawing that filled the school hall in response to the work. The work will continue to be pulled into the teaching of all years and across all subject areas over the spring term.

Work by Nilupa Yasmin and Rudy Loewe created in collaboration with pupils will be installed over February / March. You can find out more about how the work was developed in a blog post by project partner Georgina Chatfield (RSA Academies Programme Manager).

Check back here for more updates.

This is an Iniva Creative Learning project. To find out more please contact Susan Ibreck sibreck@iniva.org

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