Meet Elise: “I’ve learnt a lot about recyclable materials”

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

During November and December 2022, SEND participants in Manchester took part in our eight-day sculpture project with Create professional visual artist, Renata Minoldo. During the project, they created sculptures made from recyclable materials and decorated them with natural dyes sourced from flowers.

We spoke to Elise (15) about her experience on the project.

“My name is Elise and I’m 15 years old. We have been doing this [Create] art project for the past two weeks. We have created sculptures out of plastic water bottles, and we’ve put bird seed into it which has turned it into a bird feeder. We also crushed up flowers using hammers and other tools so we could use it as paint. It went onto the fabric which made [the fabric] look more fun.

“I thought the theme of the environment was really nice and I’m glad we did it because the environment is very important. I’ve learnt a lot about recyclable materials, and I’ve learnt there’s different types of sculpture and you can use different materials to make them. I’ve enjoyed making the sculptures. In art class we usually just do drawing so this was very different and very cool. It made me feel very happy and very good that I got to take part in this [project], it’s very fun.

“In art class we usually just do drawing so this was very different and very cool.”

Elise, environment:matters participant

“Working with Renata has been really nice. She’s a very nice person and I enjoyed working with her. Before the project, we did some research and some drawing, sketches and designs based on work from Renata and other artists.

“Working with and making artwork with the group was very fun. We all got along and had fun while doing it. I’m looking forward to our exhibition.”

This project was supported by Society of the Holy Child Jesus CIO.