The expertise of local artists and creative practitioners has brought a new dimension to many of the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership projects. They have been commissioned to work with communities to create art inspired by the diverse landscape of the area.
This way of working has supported artists in developing their own artistic practice whilst communities have found fresh and exciting ways of creatively expressing their connection to Dearne and finding their place within the landscape.
The Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership specially commissioned artists to produce original works that linked their art to the River Dearne and increased awareness of this much hidden watercourse. The commission called for an ‘original creative response to the River Dearne in the Dearne Valley’, as well as looking for opportunities to engage with local communities to provide opportunities for artistic experiences through workshops or engagement activities.
Louise used biodiversity as an inspirational starting point for the project. She worked with the community and intensively with one school, Wombwell Park Street Primary School (close to the River Dearne. The school was chosen as it was close to the River Dearne and RSPB Old Moore; a local nature reserve and wetland habitat which many of the pupils had never visited.
Louise took the class to the wetlands to experience nature at first hand and then visited the school every week for two months gathering drawings. This in turn supported pupils with achieving an Arts Award. Louise made the children’s drawings into linocuts and printed them onto fabric to create a mixed media textile mural. The stunning finished work ‘Fragments’ was hung from strings to create a 3D ripple effect exhibited alongside the other commissioned works. The children and their community were invited to see their work as part of the ‘Of the River’ evening of celebration.