Swaffham art workshop offers Hope

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An exciting sculpture workshop led by Norfolk environmental artist Karen Whiterod takes place on Saturday in Lynn.

It’s being held at St John’s Church, near the Walks, from 10.30am-4.30pm.

Participants aged 16 and over will learn how to use small anvils, hammers, wire cutters and pliers and how to make nests using word shapes in recycled wire. These shapes will form the base for nests.

The completed giant “Nests of Hope” will be exhibited on the River Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail in August alongside other artists also concerned about climate change.

Karen invites young people and adults who are concerned about climate change to share with her in making this sculpture.

Photographs of the copper writing messages and other writing will be compiled into photo books for East Anglian MP’s, including Sir Henry Bellingham, and also used in social media.

At the start of the workshop Karen will stage an exercise called ‘What is Climate Justice?’ to aid the free writing from which participants will select words or phrases, which are meaningful to them to make the wire writing.

King’s Lynn youth worker and member of both the Arts Co-operative Greyfriars Arts Space and KLimate Concern, Karen Creed said: “If we all made a few changes in our lives we could help reduce the negative impact of climate change in our lives.

“This workshop will help develop awareness of how this can be done as well as be huge fun for those taking part.”

The workshop will share techniques to form words from copper wire taken from discarded power cables and communication cables.

These “sticks” of words expressing a need for action and hope will be woven together to form a large nest.

A workshop called World Eggs, will complete this creative project in Norwich later in July. The eggs are to be placed in the nest, and these will be made in a workshop for young people with ceramic artist Georgina Warne using local clay.

Karen Whiterod spent 10 years working as a designer-maker of nylon jewellery in the 90s; the Crafts Council at the V&A Museum and the Guggenheim Museum in New York sold her jewellery.

Karen says: “I gradually became concerned about my ecological footprint – nylon is not a very eco-friendly material and the waste nylon goes straight to landfill.”

While delivering environmental art workshops as Footprint Arts, she became part of a co-operative called Artists for Climate Change. They received training from climate scientists at the UEA.

Karen added: “We learnt how carbon emissions from human activity are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than would be the case with natural forces and all the consequences of that. In Norfolk that means loss of land as the sea level rises due to Arctic ice melt.”