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SEVEN at the Next Generation Schools’ Day

Arriving early Friday morning SEVEN set up our creative space in anticipation of the 4000+ school children who were expected to attend the Next Generation schools’ day at Chalkwell Park. The event is held each year, the day before the Village Green festival organised by Metal Southend and invites local school children to get involved in the arts – from drawing and painting to singing and performing on one of the festival stages.

We were offering drop-in sessions for the children and we invited them to either spend time: free-doodling on a continuous roll of paper; creating mandalas from magazines; or creating gift tag art.

It was a very busy morning with a constant flow of groups of children (and teachers) getting stuck in and enjoying their creative freedom.

‘Bling’ was a very common theme among the youngsters, who sought out any form of shiny jewels…

And by the end of the day our continuous roll of paper had been filled with some inspiring creative doodles…

During one of our workshops a teacher commented on how surprised she was to see one pupil sitting still for 20 minutes, whereas she would normally be very disruptive in the classroom. The slow, meditative process of creating something by hand can give the feeling of being ‘lost in the moment’, which in a time when we are surrounded by information 24/7 can be a welcome break.

It was very clear to see the value of creativity on the day and how much the children enjoyed it. At a time when the number of creative subjects being taught in schools has been systematically cut, the work that Metal does in the local community is essential.

Leigh Art Trail 2017

The time has arrived and the Leigh Art Trail 2017 has begun! Now in its 20th year, the Art Trail is on from 10-17 June with over 70 artists exhibiting in over 50 venues around Leigh on Sea.

SEVEN, a creative journal collective, are exhibiting at Planet Leasing, Leigh Road, and day one has been a real success with over 60 visitors.

The display includes one sketchbook from each artist and there is a blank sketchbook for visitors to add their own contribution. SEVEN have been developing the sketchbooks for four months in the run up to the Art Trail and its a real inspiration to see the final result.

SEVEN have been meeting on a bi-weekly basis and each artist has run a workshop which focused on one of their favourite processes including blind drawings, one-minute sketches, assemblage, maps, abstract and threads of thought. Each artist then developed their own work and shared their developments on Instagram.

You can download the workshops from the SEVEN website and if you would like to follow the developments of SEVEN go to instagram/sevenartistsuk.

Read more about the Leigh Art Trail and discover the work of some amazing artists.

SEVEN artist collective

I’ve been attending Creative Journal workshops held @MetalSouthend, since 2015. In January 2017, a small group of seven artists, who had attended these workshops, decided to form a creative sketchbook collective, called SEVEN.

As part of the Creative Journal workshops we had been invited to exhibit at the Village Green Festival in 2015 and 2016. We had all enjoyed the experience so much that we were keen to explore other exhibitions.

Locally there is an event called the Leigh Art Trail (LAT), which in 2017 will be its 20th year. The trail takes place in shops and venues in and around Leigh on Sea in Essex. To celebrate the 20th anniversary LAT were keen to increase the number of venues and to invite more artists. SEVEN got together to submit our application and we were successful!

We are now getting the creative juices flowing in our bi-weekly creative sessions…

In the first session we began with quick 1 minute sketches that we can use to develop further work…

Here’s a taster of how the work is progressing…

SEVEN will be exhibiting at the Leigh Art Trail 2017 in the Planet Leasing venue.

You can follow SEVEN on Twitter and Instagram.