Britain in Song

Over the past 3 months I’ve been leading a series of workshops in schools as part of a celebration of British choral music. The workshops focused on letting the children visually interpret the choral works we played them via a range of materials.

A piece inspired by James McCarthy's '17 Days', by a pupil at Terrington Prep school

A piece inspired by James McCarthy’s ’17 Days’, by a pupil at Terrington Prep school

The culmination of these workshops was an exhibition of the children’s work on the festival weekend of Britain in Song. In addition to the children’s collages, there were a number of works on display by local artists, including myself. All the work was exhibited in the atrium of the Ron Cooke Hub at the University of York, alongside a video installation and a dance piece inspired by the music.

The painting shown above is the piece I entered for the exhibition – called Distinguishing Features, it’s a response to 17 Days by James McCarthy, a choral work that tells the story of the Chilean mining disaster of 2010. Whilst researching the piece and the disaster, I came across a series of mugshot-style photographs that were published by the BBC in the days following the rescue, which depicted the miners in the order they had come out of the mine. These photos formed the basis of the painting, with the hair and facial outlines of the miners being marked out in glue underneath the paint.

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