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Creative Capital

At Hodge Hill College, we provide numerous enrichment and extracurricular opportunities to our pupils through Creative Capital. We aim to develop creative and cultural capital, offering every learner, especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged, the chance to gain knowledge, experience, and understanding of culture that can help them succeed in education and life. We focus on enhancing creative and cultural capital, creating a positive environment, and delivering education that broadens awareness and develops character, ultimately raising the profile and standards of whole school enrichment and improving outcomes across all key stages.

We are fortunate to have links with external professionals and agencies, who bring in knowledge, expertise, and resources to develop the pupils of Hodge Hill College, providing them with education, experience, and aspiration. Along with Creative Capital workshops, our department also delivers a KS3 Art and Design after-school club, and a Formula 9 Club aimed at pushing the higher-ability pupils to achieve top-level nines and further enhance their future prospects. Our overall focus, as a Creative department, is to encourage students to imagine, experience, and express new possibilities through creative activity, while developing and sharing culture through the arts.

We seek out and invite professional artists and experts who have shown bold and inventive ideas through their own work and have a willingness to work for the development of the artistic and cultural impact of young people. Together, we engage in activities that generate knowledge, positive experiences, practical skills, and education. We have had visits from:

Richard and Julia- Environmental Artists

This couple of creatives delivered workshops based on Environmental 3D art with a strong particular focus on the environmental nature connection, fostering a love for the natural world. Materials are normally foraged from the surrounding environment.

Caroline Gregson- Willow Sculpture Workshop

Caroline leads in the development of three-dimensional design skills using willow to create animal and natural form sculptures for the school environment. Willow is a fantastic material to use in sculpture. A one-year-old growth (withies or rods) from coppiced willow trees, some of which are grown and harvested locally by Caroline. It would be hard to think of a more sustainable material.

Samantha McKewan - Krankpod Ceramics and Fine Art

Samantha McEwan, ceramic designer and maker at Krankpod, acquired skills within most disciplines, which included painting, sculpture and textiles. Samantha specialised in handmade ceramics and produced work influenced by her love of colour and decoration. Sam delivers both Fine art and Ceramic art workshops, inclusive and adapted to suit all abilities, encouraging students to embrace and celebrate their artistic skills. The students experienced a range of traditional making methods, with innovative and exciting contemporary twists, drawing inspiration from the study of organic objects such as pods, leaves and seeds. Original drawings inspired by nature were then translated onto the clay surface. Pupils focused on developing practical sculpture skills including hand-building, vessel construction, glazing and mark-making techniques.

Heidi Street-Ward – Textiles Felt Artist

Heidi is a professional textile artist felt maker specialising in running felt-making workshops in primary, secondary and special schools within the UK. Hailing from Northampton Heidi has been teaching felt-making workshops since she completed a PGCE Teacher Training Course (Secondary Art & Design) at Homerton College, Cambridge over 20 years ago. During the course, she gained lots of experience of teaching art within education and has been working as a freelance textile artist ever since. Before her PGCE course, she gained a BA (Hons) degree in Textiles and Ceramics at Manchester Metropolitan University. Heidi is a member of the International Felt Makers Association and exhibits her textile work with the Northamptonshire Guild of Designer Craftsmen.

She visits schools, and teaching workshops, allowing schools the opportunity for children to make their individual handmade felt pictures using colourful merino wool to create exciting colours, textures and patterns. Workshops are based on things that inspire the pupils. For example, faith, family and their environment. The felt pictures were then displayed separately or hung all together in the school.

Felt-making picture workshops are particularly suited to GCSE students working towards their individual arts portfolio. Her workshops provide an enriching opportunity for students to develop their creative skills, knowledge and imagination to make a unique and expressive piece of felted artwork.

Sheena Chauhan - Bite Me Cakes

As well as the visual arts, we also have workshops in other creative fields, such as cookery, baking and all things food-related. Sheena is a very well-established business owner and educator. These workshops, as well as developing valuable skills and experiences for our young students, also seek to educate with a focus on healthy eating and lifestyle.

Imogen Morris - Thread Artist

Imogen Morris is a Birmingham-based professional visual artist who, together with the students, created individual and large art pieces and portraits that are displayed around the school, complementing its environment. These were created using nails and thread onto plywood boards, with the result being an almost pencil-like drawing effect.

Imogen graduated from Kingston University in Fine Art in 2013, and after taking a few years out to focus on youth work, has recently returned to exploring her art practice. Her method of making consists of wrapping thread around nails which pinpoint the contours of the face to build up a mesh-like form made up of triangles. Imogen builds up layers and layers of these triangles to detail the subjects’ features and create depth to the image.

Sara Fowles: Yarningdale Knitting/Crochet

Sara Fowles is a textile artist and co-founder of the Yarningham Festival, the UK’s only BIPOC-led fibre event. Sara is also a visual artist but usually creates textile pieces using mostly natural fibres such as cotton, wool and alpaca.

Ruth Sprague – Illuminating Weaves

Ruth delivers Creative weaving workshops tailored for everyone, any age and all abilities. There is a freedom from traditional weaving rules and students are encouraged to experiment and play with their weaving outcomes. Students produced individual woven pieces and also worked together to produce large Art wall hangings to be displayed around the school. These workshops allowed for pupils to develop in skills not usually associated with their idea of visual arts. and also was a fun and creative time had by all.

Tina Francis – Author, Tapestry and Textile Visual Artist

Tina Francis is the owner of her brand Tina Francis Tapestry. She is a Visual artist who specialises in textiles stitching. Tina is an Author, Maker, Designer, Curator, and at present focuses on tapestry needlepoint art. The workshops explored the themes of ‘What do you care about’ which worked in direct correlation with our school’s mission statement and CARE brand.

Sarah Trigg – Visual Fine Artist, Designer and Television Producer

Sarah has repeatedly given up her valuable time working for national television stations to deliver art workshops to our pupils at Hodge Hill college. Sarah has shared her passion and expertise with our students through her Design and Screen printing workshops. These served to develop contemporary design and printing skills with also education in commercial and mass production. 

Nathalie Madron - Illustrator, Textiles, Designer, Visual Fine Artist, Speaker

Nathalie is a visual fine artist who has delivered workshops on Free Hand Textiles Machine Embroidery, Illustration, Fine art and Indian Block Printing. The pupils both Key stage 3 and Key stage 4 GCSE have benefitted from Nathalie’s artistic guidance.

Street Style Surgery – Dance, Drama, Music, Sculpture, Literature, Cookery, Fashion & Visual Arts

Street style, through their team of professional artists, delivered workshops with a focus on boosting the self-confidence and firing the aspirations of our young students. The pupils developed inspiration and were given guidance from their experienced and skilled workshop leaders.

Visual and Graffiti street artist Jamie has visited Hodge Hill College many times delivering Art Stencil Graffiti workshops to over 200 pupils within the past academic year. All pupils involved created their graffiti-style pieces and it experienced. Workshops were exceptional, modern and suited our students well.

We are now in the process of pupils alongside the artist designing for a communal large art mural piece to be done within school environment.

Mohammed Ali - ‘Aerosol Ali’ – Visual and Performance Artist, Filmmaker, Educator and Community Artist

Mohammed Ali, is widely known as a community street mural artist that digs deep down to bring meaning into public space. He has been painting street-art professionally for the past 20 years travelling the globe with his art. He was mostly known under the artist name ‘Aerosol Arabic’ but now prefers to just be known by his birth name of Mohammed Ali.

His art now extends beyond spraying murals. He explores film, theatre, and performance art, but the spirit of the spray can seem to always feature. At present, we are in the process of a selected group of pupils taking part in workshops involving videography and visual arts. Pupils also, alongside Mohammed Ali, will design and plan a large communal piece to be done within the school environment and, at a later date, other pieces within the local community.