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Lockdown Lab launches today!

Each summer ArtLab co-researchers; artists, educators and art students at Reading School of Art facilitate one-day workshops with local Primary Schools in the Reading area as part of Widening Participation initiatives. The past few summers have seen 600 pupils a year explore ArtLab Summer Schools in the Art Department, Readings Ruins Reimagined in collaboration with Reading International, Reading Abbey and Reading Museum, Making Public Together with Reading International, and Creature in a Cup.

While we are unable to facilitate 1-day workshops this year due to the corvid-19 outbreak, we have been reflecting on how we are able to support teachers, schools and their pupils access art ideas, creative processes and build cross-curricular links between the sciences, technologies and arts.

We are therefore delighted to announce Lockdown Lab a dedicated area on our website where, over the remainder of the summer term, we will be sharing videos and activities developed by ArtLabs co-researchers; Artists, Technologists, Educators and Art Students, with year 5 & 6 in mind. 

These are designed to stimulate their creative minds, consider low-fi, predominantly free and recycled materials for making. We hope to engage with their bodies through movement and expression.  We have developed the resources to draw in skills and develop understanding across Art, alongside Science, Maths, Technology, History, English, Drama and Geography subjects.

The resources include;

ArtsMark 360 MERL Challenge; We invited pupils to create content inspired by a 360 version of The Museum of English Rural Life combining their artwork with subjects across the school curriculum to create a unique tour of the museum that can contribute to the Maiden Erlegh School Artsmark Award.  Pupils will be adding content over the coming weeks and more schools virtual exhibitions coming soon!

We’ll also be launching an opportunity for anyone to exhibit works in a few weeks time!

360 screengrab – click image to visit the Artsmark 360 MERL Challenge exhibition

Cereal Box Challenge; ‘An art recycling race to create your own journal! Use things you find around your home and go on an awesome making journey’ consisting of six ‘make-along’ episodes released weekly.

Cereal Box Video Still – click image to open the Cereal Box Challenge page

Kidtronics; ‘Inspired by animatronics our Kidtronic videos are puppets you can make at home with everyday materials like cardboard and elastic bands! Think Jurassic Park, E.T. or The Muppets.  Learn about different mechanisms, create movement and expressions to tell your stories!’ Six ‘make along’ videos released weekly. Three creatures and mechanisms in two-part make and builds.

Kidtronics ‘Chatt’ video still – Click the image to open the Kidtronics Page

Move Your Bodies; ‘EVERYTHING MOVES! By playfully engaging breath/body/ sound, our imaginations & stuff around the house, in the garden or through the window, we’ll become Trees, The Wind, Water, Chairs & Magpies.’ Six episodes in home and outside released weekly.

Move Your Bodies Video still – click the image to visit the Move Your Bodies page

A few tasters of Week 1 are online now! 

& more coming soon including Animate Your Home – stop frame animation workshop videos, and a Resources section of recommendations of the best of other free content  – both by our art students at Reading.

We’d love to share the works of kids inspired by these videos and resources too! Email w.a.mclean@reading.ac.uk with works to share!

Much of the content is also suitable for younger years, and we are mindful they may need extra support with making.  Please enjoy, explore and feel free to email with any questions.

Keep an eye on Lockdown Lab where more resources will be added week by week, and do not hesitate to get in touch if you have ideas and questions.

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