More than 500 people help create SO Festival street art

Pupils at John Spendluffe Technology College with street art created for the SO Festival
Pupils at John Spendluffe Technology College with street art created for the SO Festival

Children and community groups across East Lindsey have been so involved in creating the decor which is set to line the streets for year’s SO Festival.

A number of arts workshops with schools, colleges and groups totalling 550 people have been taking place in preparation for the free outdoor arts festival taking place from June 25 to July 5.

Reams of giant bunting and Tibetan-style wish flags are being individually designed by participants with a range of materials including colourful silks and inks. The sessions are being delivered by Infinite Arts as part of the ‘SO what do you wish for’ project.

Pupils from year groups 7 to 10 studying textiles at John Spendluffe Technology College, Alford, took part in one of the workshops last week.

Caitlin Penney-Robinson, a year 10 student, said: “The flags project is a new experience for us; we have gone to craft days but not really been involved in workshops like this. Making the flags has been different because we have learnt new techniques to develop our own ideas and creating different patterns on materials.”

Cassy a year 9 student added: “The theme we have been thinking about is “what do you wish for the world?” So we have been able to create our own ideas for the flag designs, but also work as a group.

“It’s not often we get to work with other year groups so has been great to help each other and make new friends. It’s been a chance for us to be creative and use our imaginations too - I can’t wait to see them up at SO Festival.”

Artist Pauline Taylor, from Infinite Arts, has been delivering the sessions and is also designing and creating 50 unique hand-made banners to be displayed on six-metre poles at SO Festival 2015.

She said: “Working with the different groups to create the street decor especially for this year’s festival has been great fun. At the sessions everyone has been encouraged to think about what’s important to them such as the places they love, what they like about the area and have been asked to draw their own version of it – it’s really inspiring to see what people come up with.

“Personally I’ve been really inspired by the stunning landscape in East Lincolnshire so the giant banners that I’m making for the festival will each be unique and will contain striking blues, greens and yellows representing the sea, fields and coastal beach huts. They’re set to be something really special for festival goers to look out for.”

Festival director Lorna Fulton said: “SO Festival is about so much more than the performances. The event provides so many opportunities for people in East Lindsey to get involved.

“Our team of young ambassadors are working hard to promote the event to businesses and we’re also offering a unique opportunity for young aspiring film makers to come along and shoot their experiences of the festival.

“This is all in addition to the fantastic line up on the programme which includes live art, circus, theatre and music performances – there really is something for everyone. Our full festival line-up will be announced next week and we’re really excited as we think it’s one of the best line ups yet.”

As well as working with schools and children’s groups, Pauline delivered an arts session with older people from Skegness Day Centre and adults with special needs at the Get Away Club in Horncastle.

“Some of the older people I’ve worked with said they can’t draw, but soon they realised they can. I think a lot of people found it really enjoyable and feel proud to have their creations on show as part of this year’s festival,” Pauline added.

SO Festival would like to thank the following schools and groups for their involvement in the ‘SO what do you wish flags’ project: Skegness Infant Academy, Louth Youth Centre, Skegness Day Centre, The Edward Richardson Primary School, Mablethorpe Youth Centre, Alford Primary School, King Edward VI Grammar School, Saltfleetby Church of England Primary School, Manby Beavers, John Spendluffe Technology College, Get Away Club, Theddlethorpe Community Primary School and Without Walls for part-funding this project.

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