Jo McCarron ran a Big Draw art project for Year 5 pupils at her old primary school, Hanham Abbots, as part of the Big Draw Festival, a series of events throughout October run by the national Campaign for Drawing.
The theme for the day was ‘Small World, Big Ideas’ and was about the world around us and sustainability. Jo’s project involved pupils working on 40 separate ‘jigsaw’ pieces, which they then put together in the playground to create a large, colourful collage of a forest scene. Jo also recruited other local artists Maria Danishvar Brown, Laura Izaguirre and Domenico Alecci, who worked with pupils on separate projects about sustainable living.
The Campaign for Drawing was launched in 2000, by the Guild of St. George, to commemorate its founder, the Victorian writer, philosopher and artist, John Ruskin. The campaign aims to raise the profile of drawing as a tool to help people see, think, invent and take action. Its long term ambition is to change the way drawing is perceived by educationalists and the public. Campaign for Drawing has patrons which include Quentin Blake, David Hockney and Andrew Marr and each year runs the Big Draw Festival, the biggest drawing festival in the World, where events take place across the UK to celebrate drawing.
"Helping to get more people doing art and being creative is one of my favourite things as an artist, and I’m especially pleased to be able to give something back to my old Junior School. Art is so important for children. It helps them express themselves and understand the world around them.
"A few years back, I was involved in the Big Draw project at another school in Kingswood, Redfield Edge in Oldland Common. The theme was dreams and aimed to teach the children about the nature of abstract art. They had great fun then and I think the pupils at Hanham Abbots really enjoyed the project this year.
"It is crucial that creative subjects are recognised as an important part of education. Everything around us has been designed and has only come about as a result of creative thought."