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  • Writer's pictureClaire Hilton

Graffiti Murals with Aspire Plus

As a freelance Art Therapist I deliver two days of alternative creative provision as a creative specialist working with vulnerable young people at key stage 3 and key stage 4 level. These days are person centred and flexible in curriculum to make the subject accessible to all abilities and skill sets. Some students may struggle with their core skills such as spelling or writing, and it’s common for concentration levels to be low, and many young people come from non-conventional home environments and are in need of external support sources to aid their development and encourage ongoing engagement in educational provision.

The most important thing about this particular project was engaging with the young people from an early stage and getting them invested in the design and story around the images. The boards for the triptych of paintings had been donated by a local building merchants and the boards were to be situated in the play ground area at the school to make the fencing more appealing and give more ownership to the recreational area.

This is something that was designed to work through the art sessions delivered in the school and give young people to learn new skills and try something exciting with a

visually stimulating outcome. The planning involved colour planning, stencil designs and some go to shapes for our areas. This took many hours of our lessons to get a head-start on the stencils we needed to use on the day. The design was something put together by students in their art classes as well as looking at skills of creating stencils and using knives safely. The theme behind these boards and the design is growth. This is used as a metaphor for their personal learning journeys, nurtured over time and often against diversity.

We worked on these for 2 days in the summer holidays to get the boards painted involving smaller groups with extra staff support. The boards were primed before use and a background layer of colour applied before the design was built up in layers of spray paint (after we had had a practice on some spare wood). The final touches were then applied using paint markers adding detail and outlines where needed. The spider webs and ants on this board were a spontaneous decision added on the day by the students. After everything was all dry we applied a thick layer of all weather varnish to make sure it was going to be long lasting and keep its vibrancy. Click through the images above to see our final pieces.

They came out great! and are still going strong in the playground nearly a year later. Great fun and really effective - good work team!

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