Meet Eddie: “I got to explore new things”

An artwork made by SEND participants from Brentwood, Greater Manchester

environment:matters is our project providing SEND children with access to high-quality, interactive, collaborative creative arts workshops exploring the theme of “the environment”.

In July 2022, participants in Brentwood, Greater Manchester, took part in a four-day visual arts project with Create artist Jenny Leonard. The project enabled participants to improve their understanding of environmental issues while developing their social and creative skills and enhancing their overall wellbeing.

An artwork made by SEND participants from Brentwood, Greater Manchester
‘God’s Eyes’ drawn by participants in Brentwood

Eddie (19) told us about his experience on the project.

“I took part in a Create painting project. I painted the grass and the sky, and we also did some threading. I drew a ‘god’s eye’. We also did a special painting where you scratch [the shape] and see all different colours and creations. I scratched out a snail and named it after my best friend. We also created a big mural with bees and butterflies and fireflies. Did you know that a firefly has a tummy that glows?

“I thought the theme of the environment was really good. You have to capture a creature without disturbing its delicate ecosystem. It’s wrong to harm its nature in such a barbaric manner.

“I really enjoyed the project and learnt that to be a real artist you need to be spontaneous and passionate. The project made me feel good. During Covid I was homeschooled so my mum taught me a lot of stuff, like drawing and painting, but it was nice being back in school with everybody.

“Working with Jenny was great, she taught me everything I know, along with Matt [Create Project Manager]. Working with the rest of the group was great too, I got to explore new things. When I was younger I wasn’t into art, but after doing the project with Jenny, art is on my résumé as one of my hobbies.”

This project is supported by BNP Paribas Foundation Dream Up.

BNP paribas dream up logo

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An artwork made by SEND participants from Brentwood, Greater Manchester

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