River of Hope Art workshop

Tuesday 22 February 2022 | By Megan Connor

In 2019, Teesside High School first became involved with the Rivers of the World Art project. This is the Thames Festival Trust’s flagship art and education project, delivered in partnership with the British Council. Thanks to Stockton International Riverside Festival, who commissioned BloomInArt, the project has been able to produce fabulous artworks inspired by the theme of rivers and sustainability over a number of years.

Despite the lockdowns imposed in 2020 and 2021, Year 8 students worked independently and creatively at home to create sculptures inspired by river and plastic pollution. The amazing array of creative work was turned into an artwork and displayed on the South Bank, near Tate Modern in London.

The second phase of the project saw students now in Year 9, who intended to take Art at GCSE, taking part in a live workshop with the artists from BloomInArt. The session was built around the river of our partner school in Lebanon and took inspiration from the work of Hundertwasser, with students’ creations once again displayed in London.

The third phase of this wonderful collaborative project saw Art students in Years 9 and 10 take part in a live workshop with artists from BloomInArt this week.  

The project, now called River of Hope, celebrates The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and is centred around the threats to our environment and students’ hopes for the future.   

20 students were invited to spend the day with Emma and Rachel from BloomInArt and introduced to the process of wet felting, creating semi-abstract artworks based on their own landscape photographs.  

All students were engrossed in the process from the start to the end of the workshop.  Rachel and Emma will now take their creations and use them to develop a collaborative flag which will feature a stamp-style design and a silhouette of our own environmental hero Holly, in Year 10. 

Our flag will be one of 200 carried at the Queen’s Jubilee Parade in London and will also be projected from digital screens across the country.  Anyone wanting to see the work closer to home will be able to see the project’s creations from across its three year duration at this year’s Stockton International Riverside Festival. 

Our thanks to Emma and Rachel from BloomInArt for a fantastic day!

Mrs E Machan, Head of Art