James Aldridge, an Associate Artist at CAS (Chapel Arts Studios, Andover) has been successful in applying to Art Council England for a one-year visual arts project ‘Ash Tree Stream’. Project partners include Andover Trees United, CAS (Chapel Arts Studios) and five schools in the Andover area. James will enable school children and staff to use visual arts processes to learn about Ash trees and Ash dieback disease, outside of the classroom.
The school children will develop new artistic skills through documenting their experiences of Ash Trees and their place in their local heritage (Andover is thought to get its name from ‘‘on dubr’ meaning Ash Tree Stream). New artwork by James and the children will be shared with the public in Summer 2020, through an exhibition at the CAS exhibition space, St Mary’s Chapel, central Andover.
Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said:
We are delighted to support Ash Tree Stream through our Project Grants funding programme.With investment made possible thanks to the National Lottery, the project will enable school children and staff in Andover to learn about climate change and their local cultural heritage through art. Ash Tree Stream will help us achieve our mission of great art and culture for everyone by bringing together environmental issues and learning with community-focused artistic practice.
Becky McGugan, Education Officer from Andover Trees United said:
Andover Trees United are thrilled to work with James on this project: using art to help young people to explore their connection with their local natural environment and in particular, the ash tree. We have been working to increase children’s emotional relationship with the outdoors by improving their knowledge of how to identify native trees and flowers. This project is the perfect vehicle to explore how art in its different medias can help the students involved reflect on that growing connection.
The Ash Tree Stream project will provide an opportunity for children to meet and
learn about the work of a professional artist, many of them for the first time.
The participating schools are:
- Andover Church of England Primary School
- Appleshaw St Peters Primary School
- Harrow Way Community School (secondary)
- Portway Junior School
- Vernham Dean Gillum’s Church of England Primary School
Photo: Young People from Harrow Way School (by Becky McGugan)