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With Donaldson Week in full swing, we have embraced the International ‘Big Draw’ Festival fully. 

The MIV girls (Year 8) have created bricolage books with our Artist In Residence, Rebecca Hilton; UIV (Year 9) and Senior girls have created their own ‘Empower Her Voice’ T-shirts in screen printing workshops, and the school community has been invited, in their bubbles, to contribute to a collaborative drawing in the Art Department's courtyard space.

Here, MIV pupil, Heidi, talks about the book making:

'At 8.45am in the Library, MIV met a lady called Miss Rebecca Hilton. Miss Hilton is the St Mary's Artist in Residence; she works in poetry and in film, too.

The first thing Miss Hilton and Mrs Pallot (Director of Art) did was explain to us what we would be doing, which was: to recreate individual art books with some bits of poetry, (based on this time of year - harvest), written by Miss Hilton and some other poets too. To do this, Miss Hilton and Mrs Pallot explained some simple but effective techniques which we might like to use in our art. These included bricolages, which is when you take a poem, or a piece from a story, and re-create it, by either taking simple words out or blocking some words from the paragraph to create a whole new sentence. Another technique was called Book Binding, where you combine everything you have created into a book by either gluing it together or sewing it. Book Binding is also another way to make your page stand out, for example, you could even wax something to make it stick!

To start off with, we made our way to the Art block with Miss Hilton and Mrs Pallot, where Mr James was ready to talk through all the materials we could use to make our art. This included numerous things, such as lots of different coloured and sized paper, cardboard, tea bags, melted wax, glue and lines of poetry. Once Mr James had finished speaking, we all got into our groups (which were titled Change, Breath, Time, Belong or Dancing).

Once we had sorted out who we were going to make our books with within the groups, we all started to create! To start off with, we decided which pieces of paper we were going to use to make the books, we then sewed them together, by using a sewing machine and sewing it right down the middle. Next, we started to add lots of different textures and designs to each page, thinking carefully as to where we would space everything out. To make different textures to the pages, some of us tried emptying the tea bags and adding a photo inside one, we then painted over the bag with hot, melted wax. This created a cool, glossy effect which allowed you to see the photo through the tea bag.
Roughly halfway through making the books, Miss Hilton and Mr James taught us some more interesting techniques to improve our books and make them look denser. These techniques included rubbing, this is where you put your piece of paper up against a bumpy, or rigid surface and rub your pencil or led against the paper to create a more abstract effect. Another technique was to add more layers, this could include making a series of flaps to one page, or different materials layering on top of each other, overlapping the page. This created a messy but classy look. Gradually, we kept on adding things to the pages, including ink, calligraphy pens and washy tape.

In my opinion, the whole point of this activity was to make each book look different. I think this worked very well, because, every book turned out different and unique, and it was clear to see that with every book, it was displayed in a way that you could see how much each page was thought about extremely carefully. This task was also very educational, as it taught us that it is good to be unique and different on every page. We also learnt lots more techniques on how to make our art amazing.

In this activity, many glossy, inky, splodgy, big, small and creative books were made. They were clearly all individual and turned things such as a simple poem or a sentence into something that it wasn’t before. The best way to do this activity, as shown, is to make decisions quickly and to not spend too much time trying to make it look ‘perfect’. '