Celebrating Watts at Home

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Posted 26th August 2021

We're looking back and celebrating our Watts at Home programme, after over a year of lockdowns and disruptions, join us as we reminisce on the positives from this time. Our Watts at Home programme kept us and our community busy with plenty of arts and crafts, a huge thank you to everyone that joined in, we hope it brightened your days. Read on to meet three artists that were involved in the programme, they even share some new activities to inspire future crafting.


Meet Honey Dearsley:

Hello - I am an artist, a creator, a maker and a thinker with a varied career in education working with families and schools. Always creating, I am currently presenting CPD sessions for schools and conferences online.
Working with Watts Gallery is one of the most fulfilling relationships I have had the pleasure of developing over the years. The Make Space has a wonderful Clore studio for families and artists to share and grow a love of arts and crafts through an environment that oozes imagination and the spirit of George and Mary Watts. 

During lockdown 2 it was so sad to see the galleries having to close again, so I created my very own pocket-sized version (Figure 2), printing images of my favourite Watts Gallery paintings! My favourite part was designing one with archways so that you could see into the other rooms. I love moving from one gallery space to the next thinking of the lighting, wall colours and even flooring. You can see the original version on my Instagram (@thehive.art) was really small. The one pictured is a bigger scale easily made from A4 card. Just one section makes a good pop up card but I made four rooms so it could fold into a carousel book.

You can draw your own masterpieces to frame or print off any genre of paintings you like best from impressionism to abstract or contemporary artists e.g. Hockney to Yayoi Kusama! I certainly would like to see a pop art gallery or perhaps curate your own version with your artwork of drawings and paintings! Galleries often make models of exhibition spaces so that they can imagine how people might move around and in this case I added Lego figures. I worked on other projects too including Flower pressed badges (Figure 1), festive marbling and woodland collagraphs. It was great working with so many techniques and textures all inspired by the Watts Gallery - Artists’ Village.


Meet Caroline Burton:

Hello, I'm Caroline - Graphic Designer, Illustrator and one of the Watts at Home Artists over the past year. As part of the programme, I have filmed myself Dyeing Eggs, making Bug Sun Catchers, Angel Christmas Cards, the Winter Kit and Christmas Card Robins. I especially enjoyed transforming cereal boxes into a Junk Sculpture of the Main Gallery (Figure 3), complete with pom-pom bushes. Below I have created a new activity for you to try.

Collage Flowers


Inspired by Mary Watts’ flowers in the Chapel (Figure 6), this Collage Flowers (Figure 5) activity is all about the papers that you use, so a mix is best. Contrasting plain and patterned gives you a great effect. You don’t need to buy anything special, you could use cereal boxes, wrapping paper or cut up a magazine, as I have done.

Materials:

Different coloured/types paper or a magazine, scissors, glue, pencil, Card for back
Side Plate, small bowl, cup to draw around (or 4 circular items in different sizes)

Method:

  1. Draw around your plates, bowl and cup to make four different sized circles on your different papers. Top tip: Alternate lots of pattern with a plainer paper. Paper with small writing works really well.
  2. Glue your smallest circle onto the next size up and then make small snips around the edges to make a fringe.
  3. Repeat onto the next size up
  4. Glue your biggest circle onto the Card and then cut out petals
  5. Scrunch up some paper and glue in the centre


Meet Charlie Betts:

I am a freelance artist at Watts Gallery - Artists' Village. The past year has meant adapting and learning new ways of working online. Though I have missed teaching in the Studio, producing videos for the Make Space and Watts Tots sessions has been fascinating. I have loved creating the activities, often inspired by the wonder of nature, connecting with the beautiful Limnerslease Woodland that Mary Watts was so passionate about and frequently referenced in her work. Try this new activity below.

Dandelion Crowns


Materials:

A length of cardboard for the headband (approximately 4 - 5cm width, 35cm length)
Hole punch
Ribbon
Double-sided tape (Or Cellotape doubled up)
A selection of flowers/ leaves - dandelions and daisies are great for this activity

Method:

  1. Punch a hole at each end of the length of cardboard.
  2. Add a strip or two of double-sided tape along the full length of cardboard.
  3. Peel away the tape backing and then place your flowers down firmly on to the tape to stick.
  4. Add some ribbon to each end, threading through the hole and tie to the required length to fit.
Dandelion Crown