This April, Ikon, in partnership with the Summit Learning Trust, commissioned visual arts duo Hipkiss & Graney to deliver a series of creative workshops for primary, secondary and college students across the eight academies that make up the Trust. The workshops, produced to coincide with the Coronation of King Charles III, encouraged learners to think critically about art and engage in dialogue about our cultural history and collective futures, and respond to it through meaningful creative and practical activities.
Inspired by Hipkiss & Graney’s interest in ecologies and sustainable communities, students have worked with the artists to consider how they are connected to each other, the land and the environment, whilst also exploring the relevance of monarchy within our culture today as society engages more with eco-science and environmental issues.
Students designed and created bunting and banners using sustainable materials, painting on signs and symbols to communicate their messages and concerns about social and environmental issues important to them as young citizens today as they navigate significant changes on both global and local scales.
The bunting produced by the students will be displayed in Centenary Square during the week of the Coronation, enabling the students to share their messages with Birmingham communities.
The bunting and banners will then be displayed in a showcase exhibition at Ikon Gallery (Thursday 22 – Sunday 25 June). Hipkiss & Graney invite families to join them for free creative activities at Ikon Gallery on Saturday 24 June, 11am-3pm (no need to book, just drop in). Families can use a range of textile and collage materials to create their own banners inspired by the natural world, and to share their own environmental messages.
Ikon and Warwick Arts Centre, together with artists Hipkiss & Graney and Navkiran Kaur Mann, have created a schools activity pack, encouraging learners to engage in creative activities that use poetry and banner-making to explore themes around cultural history, interconnectedness and the environment.
Ikon’s free activity packs for KS 1-3 based on the current exhibition, Horror in the Modernist Block, are also available to download from Ikon’s website.