St Helen and St Katharine get creative to save the planet

St Helen and St Katharine get creative to save the planet

29 March 2018

A poignant phrase mentioned by one of the organisers of the Paraguayan landfill orchestra, the Recycled Orchestra: ‘we do not wish just to throw broken things away… or people.’ With this in mind Year 9 students were invited to an afternoon of creative workshops run by visiting artists and crafts-people with the support of the art department. 

With much in the news about the impact of pollution, plastics filling oceans and consumer society squandering resources, the afternoon was themed around the concept of ‘up-cycling’ and the challenges to design that many companies are facing. 

The afternoon began by learning about the inspiring waste tip orchestra of Paraguay who make their instruments from landfill objects. In the workshops this theme continued with the re-use or enhancement of materials and objects.  

The activities included bags and cushions made from old shirts; recycled jewellery; Large pottery vessels with found-object sprig moulds; colours and paintings imaginatively constructed using spices and natural pigments; a pair of life-size cardboard and pipe dancing figures choreographed by the art and DT technicians; a strong photo-montaged poster record of the events; and a feast of beautifully icing-enhanced Madeira cakes from the Food Tech department. One final set of students was being coached by experimental musician and teacher Jo May. In the short span of the afternoon, they learnt about making music from old kitchen equipment. They then composed and practiced a musical percussion piece which they performed with amazing skill and aplomb at the plenary session.

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