SAW has developed a creative programme of community engagement projects, inspired by cranes, to offer creative opportunities to local schools, groups and individuals and to help raise awareness of this fascinating conservation project. Our successful partnership with The Great Crane Project continues with further fundraising and new developments for 2014/15.
SAW Project Co-ordinator - Beccy Swaine
The Great Crane Project’s central aim is to re- establish cranes as a sustainable breeding species in the UK so they can be enjoyed by future generations. In order to achieve this, the project needs to build support for landscape-scale wetland biodiversity conservation amongst the local and rural communities of the Somerset Levels and Moors. The story of the reintroduction of the common crane is a wonderful way to build this support. Cranes are naturally well suited to art projects as they are charismatic, elegant and enigmatic birds that have been depicted in art for centuries. By working in partnership with Somerset Art Works, the story of the crane - and its return - is creatively brought to life in the community.
Great Crane Project Manager - Damon Bridge
Socially engaged, intergenerational practice runs throughout the Great Crane Art Project, aiming to bring people of all ages together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contribute to building stronger and more cohesive communities.
- Artist Sarah Butterworth has been commissioned to lead an exciting celebratory project working with school and community groups through the Autumn of 2014. A Celebration of Cranes marks 5 years of the Great Crane Project and SAW’s creative partnership through this period, culminating on 22 November with a procession of illuminated lanterns, crane puppets, dance and live music.
- Melanie Tomlinson devised activities and resources to create thecompanyofcranes.net, a website designed for education settings and groups to nurture independent study and creative skills, build self-confidence and understanding of cranes, conservation and the environment. The education programme was funded by InspirED Somerset and Melanie worked with 12 Somerset schools.
- Schools Twinning Project - Artist Melanie Tomlinson linked German and Somerset schools in a creative project using illustration and metal to create stunning dioramas. See The Company of Cranes blog for full details of Melanie's work with SAW and The Great Crane Project.
- The Company of Cranes - Artist Melanie Tomlinson worked closely with the project teams at SAW, The Great Crane Project, Ash School and their twinned European partner schools. As well as developing her own creative response to the project, Melanie's commission also involved running workshops with local and European Schools. Work was shown at Slimbridge WWT in the Summer and during Somerset Art Weeks in Sept/ Oct 2013.
Supported by the Arts Council as part of SAW's Abundance programme.
- Othery Village Crane Trail - community and school workshops led by Artists Kitty Hillier and Belinda Brownlee
- The Paper Crane Project - community and school workshops led by Artist Lucy Lean
- Flight of the Cranes - a SAW curated exhibition to be held at Slimbridge WWT in the summer featuring the work of the Somerset Crafts group and an installation of hundreds of paper cranes created by Lucy Lean as part of The Paper Crane Project.
- Exhibition at Somerset Crafts during Somerset Art Weeks of The Paper Crane installation. Educational visits and activities offered to local schools.
- Huish Episcopi Academy Papier Mache and Wire workshops
- Short Breaks for disabled children and their families - Reserve visits and creative workshops
- SAW curated an exhibition at Slimbridge Wetlands Centre, Gloucestershire of crane-inspired project work by Somerset school and community groups, including paper mache sculptures, painted life-size crane decoys and delicate wirework.
- The exhibition then toured to historic Muchelney Abbey for Somerset Art Weeks 2011, displayed alongside artists’ work. School visits were hosted and an evening talk and reception was held.
- Wire Workshops with Somerset primary schools led by artist Fiona Campbell
- Development of the Volunteers Art Resource Pack - delivered Somerset-wide
- Art in Nature Community Workshops - Reserve Visits and Arts Activities from RSPB Dewlands Farm.
Somerset Art Works (SAW) is a non-profit making organisation promoting the Visual Arts and creating opportunities for Visual Artists and Makers in Somerset through advocacy, promotion and development. SAW initiates and manages a range of events, projects and opportunities throughout the county and is a membership organisation for practising artists.
If you want to find out more about the Great Crane Art Project contact us 01458 253800 email@example.com www.somersetartworks.org.uk
THE GREAT CRANE PROJECT
The Great Crane Project is a partnership project between the RSPB, the Wildlfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) and the Pensthorpe Trust, with major funding support from Viridor Credits Environmental Company.
It was set up with the aim of helping the re-colonisation of the UK by the crane and securing the crane's future as a breeding species. For nearly 400 years, these stunning birds have been missing from our wetlands. Drainage and hunting caused them to disappear as a breeding bird by the start of the 17th Century.