Wheal Martyn are proudly showing an impressive exhibition of work by school pupils from Roche School, St Dennis School, Cury School and Poltair School. The Pots of Stories exhibition is the culmination of a project run throughout the autumn term with the participating schools, supported by Arts Council England through its investment in Cornwall Museums Partnership.
The Pots of Stories project brought together Wheal Martyn, Kernow Education Arts Partnership KEAP, 4 schools, a writer and 3 artists through a unique arts project that inspired and excited 135 children and teachers from Cornwall. KEAP has a long history of working in partnership with cultural organisations and schools to enrich the curriculum. The aim was to inspire creative writing and develop writing skills – something that is often cited as a problem area in pupils, particularly in boys.
Wheal Martyn was the inspiration for the writing workshops which were co-led by Gemma Martin (Education Officer) and Becca Gregson (Writer) in October and November, when the schools visited the museum. The students then took their written work back to school to develop further and to build their artwork around with the visiting artists Alessandra Ausenda and Amanda Lorens.
Gemma Martin, Wheal Martyn’s Education Officer said “working in partnership with KEAP, the writer and artists has been so refreshing, giving a great opportunity for Cornish children to learn about their local heritage and express themselves in such imaginative ways”.
The opening night of the exhibition was held on Monday 12th December at Wheal Martyn. Over 80 people attended the evening, which was opened by The Story Republic performing several pieces of creative writing as songs and poems. Several of the pieces had been written by local people who attend the monthly Memory Café at Wheal Martyn, which thrilled the audience. Students from each school then stood and performed their piece of creative writing, captivating the crowd with their vivid descriptions and carefully sculpted pros.
The exhibition centres on a glorious display of artwork. Massive pots containing the stories line the entrance to the museum, and dramatic papier-mâché wall tiles elude to highlights from the stories.
Kim Sullivan, teacher of English at Poltair School spoke passionately about the project. “The Pots of Stories project allowed our students to unlock their imagination and produce writing which was mature and sophisticated. Pairing it with an art project allowed them to see writing as a creative process rather than a chore. The activities we did are transferable to the classroom and receiving positive feedback from a professional writer gave them confidence in their abilities and a heightened sense of pride. The students had a fantastic time and created positive memories of writing that will stay with them.”
Amanda Harris, KEAP, commented on the success of the project; “Wheal Martyn has captured the imagination of the pupils, the experience has enriched their writing by unlocking their creativity”.
The exhibition will remain on display at Wheal Martyn until Easter. Alongside this, an exhibition, Passion for Porcelain, is on display until July 2017 and is free to view.
For more information about Wheal Martyn visit www.wheal-martyn.com, for KEAP’s Story Republic visit www.thestoryrepublic.co.uk and for Cornwall Museums Partnership www.cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk