Despite less than perfect weather, our ARTROOTS event in June was a really enjoyable and different (in a good way!) experience. Working together with staff from Poulton Woodworks, we created an experimental, day-long art workshop, using natural materials to make pigments and drawing instruments, then working outdoors on quite a large scale with non-conventional techniques.
Jax Tanner of Poulton Woodworks had assembled an abundance of materials from which to make natural art materials during the morning session. This was added to during a wander through the gardens at Poulton where participants harvested their own woad (a plant that produces a blue pigment) and collected other materials. We ended up with a great range of raw materials, including bramble roots, beetroot, wood ash and walnut ink, as well as goose feathers to make quills and charcoal from the woods.
After a delicious BBQ lunch and a presentation about experimental ways of working by artist Kristiina Sandoe, it was back to the woods with the materials we had made and down to some creativity. People didn’t hold back, working on large pieces in the ground, attaching paper to tree trunks to take rubbings, drawing with sticks, splattering and dribbling pigments, even riding bikes and walking across paper. The work was then hung from low hanging branches to create an arboreal exhibition. Some were left to be altered and degraded by the elements…if you go down to Poulton Woods today, you may see some of them there still.
Poulton Wood Local Nature Reserve is a 28 acre ancient woodland, owned and managed by the Canterbury Oast Trust, a charity that works with people with learning disabilities. To find out more about their work at Poulton Wood click here