The work of Warrington schoolchildren – part of a prestigious international project exploring the world’s rivers – is being displayed at Pyramid Arts Centre.
Led by Accent Music Education Hub, in partnership with the Thames Festival Trust and Culture Warrington, the ‘Rivers of the World’ art and geography project, has involved high schools from across Warrington and Halton.
Warrington’s Accent Music Education Hub – which also provides education in the wider arts – was selected by the Thames Festival Trust to take part in the Rivers of the World Project in 2018.
It has seen Warrington and Halton pupils learning about their local river in the first year and about a river in their partner country in the second year, with professional artists placed in schools to deliver workshops that developed pupils’ art techniques.
Pupils have gathered ideas, inspired by rivers, which have been channelled creatively into drawings, paintings, photographs and other visual media, and transformed into a collection of large-scale works of art.
The children’s work has culminated in two, special exhibitions. The first exhibition took place along the Thames riverside walkways in 2019. Now – following a delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – the second exhibition has arrived at Pyramid Arts Centre. On display until 31 July, it exhibits the artwork both of local children inspired by river studies of Ethiopia, and art from Ethiopian schools.
Janice Pounds, Music Education Commissioner for Accent Music Education Hub, said: “This was a really exciting opportunity. The Thames Festival Trust chose our region in part, due to the excellent work already achieved by the Primary Arts Networks that run in both Warrington and Halton and the work of the Arts Steering Group.
“We are thrilled that this has been recognised on a national level and has given our pupils the opportunity to be involved in such a prestigious international event.”
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for culture and the arts, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, added: “It has been a fantastic honour for Warrington to be part of this international arts and education project, giving local children the opportunity to work with professional artists, reflect on global issues and explore the important role of rivers, locally and across the world.
“This project has really enriched young people’s education, enabling them to develop their art skills and deepen their knowledge of other cultures. I’m delighted that the wonderful work they have created is now finally on display, for everyone to enjoy.
“Please remember, make sure you keep taking symptom-free coronavirus tests routinely, so that you can continue to enjoy our fabulous exhibitions and activities, knowing that you won’t be passing the virus to others unknowingly.”
Launched in 2005, the annual Rivers of the World project has worked with 35 countries around the world, and aims to inspire young people to recognise the potential for art in their lives, championing creativity and developing young gallery audiences. By promoting awareness of rivers, the project provides the framework for international partnerships to flourish between artists and schools.
The Warrington schools involved in this project are Beamont Collegiate Academy, Bridgewater High School, Cardinal Newman High School, Culcheth High School and Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School, while Halton is represented by Wade Deacon High School.
The Rivers of the World exhibition is at Pyramid Arts Centre, Palmyra Square, until 31 July 2021. There is no need to book to visit the exhibition.
For more details about past Rivers of the World projects, please visit the Thames Festival Trust website.