Express yourself with Creative Art: Summer Exhibition


Poppy embroidered artwork depicting Lincoln Castle



detail of a photograph used as artwork




Work inspired by a visit to the poppy exhibition



Led by tutor Rachel Holland Hargreaves the students of the creative art course meet to share and explore their creativity through a variety of media. They meet at the Friends Meeting House in central Lincoln which provides a historically interesting, calm and quiet space to practice their skills. Rachel teaches art theory here in the morning and the creative art course in the afternoon.

Rachel works by providing the students with a theme to work with each week. For this course the themes were; William Shakespeare, mixed media/ texture, animal magic, seashells, sport, go outdoors, poppies at the cathedral and festival celebrations.

WEA student Jenny offered to guide me around the various artworks which were  displayed around the room in this pop up exhibition. Jenny used to work at the castle  as a guide and was full of praise for the redevelopment of it as a temporary arts venue for the poppy exhibition (click here  for further information about this.)

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The group sketching at the castle

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Ready to go!

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Students at the castle: this visit provided source material for their work


Jenny was in the play ‘Macbeth’ at school and also did a piece about the play for her Shakespeare inspired art week ..she said it was interesting how things from school and learning experiences can stay with you, and this was also true of a student who used her lacrosse stick from school as inspiration for her ‘sports’  piece!

All the students spoke of friendly and supportive atmosphere within the group. They were keen to say anyone new to the group is always made to feel welcome. The group had recently visited the castle to see the exhibition and also to the cathedral to sketch the stonework there. The group were given a sketchbook by Rachel and they said they enjoyed using their preliminary sketches as a basis for their further work.

The students said they appreciate the thought and time the tutor spends selecting the unique themes and were amazed she has not replicated an idea yet! They said also that some topics challenged them but they always wanted to complete them and felt they did not want to let the tutor down by not fulfilling the challenge.

One student said “Rachel is a good tutor – a good leader makes or breaks a group and we have a brilliant leader in Rachel.”

Rosie  another student said, ” It always feels good when you leave here after working on your art even if you didn’t feel good when you left the house that morning!”

Another lady says she doesn’t prepare what she is going to bring for materials,  she just uses what is in her bag to interpret the brief  as she doesn’t have much time to prepare but she tries to make the time come along..even if it means just stopping and  leaving what she was doing at home.

There was also tea,  and a decorated cake…made by a student with a royal theme to tie in with the topic work.



Week 9 Work: Festival celebrations

It is not just paint which the students use but some choose to work in embroidery, textiles, sculpture and knitting for their self-expression.

The students had a very enjoyable double session when they created textured mixed media pieces with plaster and bandages. One lady spoke of how exciting it was and she felt she  should do more of this kind of work.


Mixed media with plaster and bandages

Ultimately it is up to individual to interpret it in whatever way, using their own source material, some do buy things from art shops but some students use items like charity shop frames and found materials.

At the end of the session the exhibition was all packed away and into shopping trolleys, rucksacks and handbags and taken away to be displayed treasured at home.

The group are excited about the new September 2016 term and the themes Rachel will include. To book onto the Express yourself with Creative Art course ring the WEA office on 01522 522 472 or  click here to book online.

Work from week 4  based on ‘patronus’.. an animal which shares the characteristics of a person.




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