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Saturday Arts Club students from Plymouth College of Art work at Whitsand Bay.  Image by Cassandra Horsley

Saturday Arts Club students from Plymouth College of Art work at Whitsand Bay. Image by Cassandra Horsley

Students from the Saturday Arts Club at Plymouth College of Art spent Saturday on Whitsand Bay constructing huge portraits from found material as part of the Big Draw, a national initiative being run throughout October.

The beach project was an extension of their studies into self portraits but it also had a significant environmental focus. Alan Lemin, Head of Educational Partnerships, at Plymouth College of Art said “We wanted to take their initial studies on portraiture to a different level and as part of the Big Draw initiative do something positive for our local environment. As a surfer I use these beaches frequently and it always saddens me to see how people can be so thoughtless in leaving their rubbish on the beach. We spent the day collecting debris and discarded materials to construct huge portraits. This provided valuable opportunities for the students to work together as part of a team and consider scale as well as design. Following the project we collected 25 sacks of rubbish which we removed for proper disposal”.

This work will form part of a major London based exhibition later in November which will see the students visiting the capital to participate in a design day focusing on public art.

This group of students are the first to be a part of a National Saturdays Arts Club campaign which is supported by the prestigious London based Sorrell Foundation. The Foundation has been working with the Plymouth College of Art and their counterpart colleges in Leeds, Hereford and Cleveland in launching a National Saturday Art and Design Club. This is the start of a five year plan which is hoping to engage more than 80 colleges in establishing Saturday Arts Club provision for young people.

Alan Lemin added, “The Sorrell Foundation have joined forces with the Audi Foundation in facilitating this fantastic opportunity for students aged between 14 – 16 years old. Plymouth College of Art is one of only four specialist Arts Colleges in the country. Over the past few years we have been running a very successful Saturday Arts Club for children from 9 to 18 years of age. Sorrell recognised our success and have taken our model to draw together the other three specialist Arts Colleges in launching this superb initiative. During the course of the year the students will take part in a master-class conducted by an internationally renowned artist. We have requested sculptor Anthony Gormley. At the end of the year they will stage a major exhibition of their work in London.”

The National Saturday Art and Design Club students spend 30 weeks at the College and work through a carousel of different art forms such as photography, graphics, film making, sculpture, print making, painting and drawing. For anyone who wishes to obtain further information on these programmes please contact Alan Lemin on Plymouth 01752 203456 or by email at alemin@plymouthart.ac.uk