Watt’s Gallery Learning Assistant
Watt’s Gallery – Artists Village is in Compton, near Godalming. Founded in 1904, it the only gallery in the UK devoted to a single artist – G F Watts and his wife, Mary Watts.
We visit regularly, as a family, mainly for the children’s art activities that they have during school holidays. We have made boats, sewn stars into a blanket sky, lots of printmaking, made a mod rock horse, created sun pictures, decorated an umbrella for a parade and lots more. Our favourite is the Fairy Fair, which is held there in July with performers as well as things to make and do.
I was fortunate to be asked to work there as a Freelance Learning Assistant for the Christmas Fair. I was based in the Clore Learning Studio, helping the children, and some adults, make their own Christmas cards using polystyrene and printing inks. Children drew onto the polystyrene with a pencil, used a roller to apply the printing ink and then made their print onto card. It was so enjoyable helping them create their print.
February Half Term and we were making shadow puppets, tying in with a temporary exhibition of Christina Rossetti. Gina McAdam had created a Performance Booth with a projector, so the children could do their own puppet shows. The puppets were made out of black card and then articulated using split pins and wooden sticks. The children also made a scene using Sharpie pens on acetate which then went onto the projector. We then helped them make their characters come to life by performing their “play” to their parents. It was so much fun creating different characters and mini shows. Some children had a very strong idea of what they wanted to do and others needed a little more guidance. Everyone I saw left with a huge smile on their face, including the parents.
Easter holidays were time for Moon Prints, to tie in with the Moonscapes exhibition. We used Gelli plates as a base, rolled on printing inks, added textures using a variety of different materials and then made the print. Everyone’s print was completely different and they all looked great. We also encouraged people to do ghost prints, where a second print is made straight after the first. It creates a completely different effect. One of my colleagues brought in some spare plywood circles she had at home, so we did a few print experiments on them as well.
We always enjoy our visits and I look forward to working there again soon.
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