Acclaimed artist links up with school for new project

Mark and school staff during one of the workshops.
Mark and school staff during one of the workshops.

Students at Rainford High Technology College are exploring creativity with an exciting new project with Artist in Residence, Mark Storor.

Acclaimed and award-winning artist Mark visited Rainford High this week to start the first phase of workshops with students.

Mark, who has been commissioned by arts organisation Heart of Glass to undertake a 12 year residency in St Helens, will continue the workshops throughout the year.

They will focus on the process of developing and creating work for children and young people. Students will take the reins and get the chance to be creative, take risks and put forward their own ideas.

In the first phase of the project Mark will be working with six students from each year group, with larger groups then getting involved with the workshops later in the year.

Mark’s work is described as ‘the space between live art and theatre’ and the project will include elements of performance art, installation and theatre. The project will culminate in sharing the work they create with staff, parents and fellow students.

Mark is working with various communities across St Helens including older men, police, primary school children, young carers and now students and staff at Rainford High.

The organisation has been set up to support work made with, for and about St Helens people and places. It supports artists and communities to make ambitious new work.

This pioneering initiative is designed to encourage more people to get involved in the arts.

Creativity in schools has been a topic of discussion over the last few years with calls to invest in the arts and highlight its importance to young people. Rainford has a thriving arts department which aims to give students a holistic art education. The school hopes this new initiative will stimulate creative learning for students and benefit staff too.

Mark held an initial workshop with staff in December to introduce them to the concept of the project. This involved staff across different subject areas including maths, science, PE and performing arts to encourage an exchange of creative ideas across the curriculum.

Principal Ian Young, says: “We give students a broad and balanced curriculum at Rainford which will prepare them with the skills needed for life. Our curriculum challenges young people to get out of their comfort zone.

“Creativity is a key part of this – whether you want to enter the science, technology or the arts industry.

“We’re delighted to be working alongside Mark to immerse our students in the creative process and produce a unique piece of artwork which is personal to the students and our school.”