Swanning around the city

by 52 Weeks of Art

Hundreds of origami swans will be seen in Lichfield later in the year, following a mammoth effort by artist Celia Houghton.

Celia is one of the cities most enduring artists, who is at the forefront of delivering access to the arts through her role as Lichfield District Councils Arts Officer. She is however also an artist in her own right, and as part of a major community arts project funded by Tesco, developed a fantastic project to young budding artists to inspire them to embrace creative thinking.

Tony Fletcher (Tesco Corporate Affairs Manager) said “We are delighted with the outcome of Celia’s latest workshop event. The response of the Children, schools and local community together with the commitment of the artists’ has been overwhelming. We look forward to seeing the results of all of the projects in due course”

During June and July Celia visited 6 local primary schools, including St James Primary. Longdon, St Josephs, Chadsmead Primary, Charnwood Primary, Lichfield Willows Primary, and Greysbrooke Primary, Shenstone and offered an insight into one of Lichfield’s most significant figures – Anna Seward – ‘The Swan Of Lichfield’.

As part of the workshops children were invited to follow Stewards footpath and write their own poetic verse, and then convert their poem into a beautiful tribute in the shape of an Origami Swan. In total 545 children participated in the project, which also saw Celia introduce the children to Dr Johnson, asking them to create their own word and definition for a children’s dictionary for the city, which will be on show soon.

The project and exhibition are one of a number of art based workshops projects and exhibitions in the city over the next 4 months of art which have been funded by Tesco. The Origami Swans will form the centre of a much larger collection, which will be displayed in Lichfield soon. The project will also see further art activities about Seward carried out, and other tributes to the ‘Swan of Lichfield’ produced as a result of community involvement.

Peter Walker Project Coordinator “At the centre of the art projects we are running, is the objective to get people involved in the arts. Art is far more than just drawing a picture of something you see, and by involving children in creating art we are introducing them to a plethora of imaginative ways to look at the world. In Celia we have a perfect artists, skilled in opening the eyes of children to the possibilities of art, and I am delighted that her commitment has resulting in such beautiful results”.