Rhonda Fenwick: Participatory

Theatre of Dreams

SCEP/Together for Children, Action Research Project 2023. Art Manifesto. A collaboration with students from Sunderland College and Sunderland Empire. “How do we embed cultural education more deeply within the curriculum?”

“All Schools Should Be Art Schools”…. The campaign work of artist Bob and Roberta Smith, created large banners and signs making this statement as part of his campaign for improved arts education. With the aim to better advocate for the arts within the Government. Being concerned of the diminishing role of the arts in schools and since Michael Gove’s proposal removed Art from GCSE core curriculum in England.

Working with second year art students from Sunderland college, creating artworks and an art manifesto in response to the project brief.

Why Dreams? “We are such stuff as dreams are made on” … Shakespeare. Dreams inspire action, fuel your motivation and boost your perseverance. Dreams turn on your creative thinking and problem solving. Dreams are vital part of you creating extraordinary results and transforming the situations around you. Choose to be a person of vision.

Many well-known artists such as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Salvador Dali, Edgar Allan Poe and Christopher Nolan said their dreams inspired them to write and create their artworks, poetry, music and films.

Sunderland Empire theatre is a place where dreams became a reality for many famous artists who performed on its stage such as the Beatles, Charlie Chaplin and Rudolf Nureyev.

WEAVE exhibition held in Kimbelsworth and Plawsworth Community Centre

Exhibition of works by artists Rhonda Fenwick, Diana Raw and Marion Thompson work included digital prints, assemblages, installations, mixed media.

Objects D'art work from members of Kimblesworth Art Group included stories, memories and significant/treasured objects.

THE ART OF HAPPINESS: Golden Moments in Colour and Light

Sessions 2022/2023 for Breathing Space Witton Gilbert.

The project includes creating artworks, using text, group discussions and meditations. Exploring art, colour and light, how these can help us to feel better in our every day life.

"The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most" John Ruskin

"The Essences are each a separate glass through which Being's light is passed — Each tinted fragment sparkles like gold in the sun — A thousand colours — But the light is one" Lao Tse

“At the back of our brains, so to speak, there is a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our existence. The object of the artistic and spiritual life is to dig for the sunrise of wonder” G.K. Chesterton

Sessions begin with discussion and an easy questionnaire: -

What is a Golden Moment?

A Golden Moment is one of happiness and contentment. It's the moments in life that make us light up and smile. Those unspoken moments of joy where your heart melts and you wish you could freeze that feeling in time.

Cry of the Earth — Climate Change Arts Project in Schools

The Cry of the Earth project working with local primary schools. It will provide children with an opportunity to creatively explore their own response to climate.

Following the COP 26 event in Glasgow and the available scientific data it is evident we need to do as much as we can to address the serious issues of climate change and this project will offer an exciting opportunity both to raise awareness and cultivate a shared vision for creation. It is anticipated that from these foundations further creative projects with local schools will take place building on the links with the schools that have already been established during the development of this project. It is anticipated that this would initially be in the field of challenging poverty and homelessness providing a further opportunity for children to explore not only their own response to these challenges but also to develop an understanding of why these issues are so important.

The children will be asked to create posters regarding raising awareness of Climate Change. There will be art prizes given to the best two posters, from one boy and one girl. These will be displayed on a large PVC banner to be shown on the school railings viewed by school visitors and general public.

Funded by St Michael and All Angels Witton Gilbert and Durham Diocese

Kintsugi in collaboration with Breathing Space

It's called kintsugi (金継ぎ), or kintsukuroi (金繕い), literally golden (“kin”) and repair (“tsugi”). This traditional Japanese art uses a precious metal – liquid gold, liquid silver or lacquer dusted with powdered gold – to bring together the pieces of a broken pottery item and at the same time enhance the breaks.

This philosophy has parallels with the human experience and life’s journey. We can be broken in many ways. We can be broken by others, by ourselves with the errors we make the cracks can appear slowly or suddenly. Yet each fracture is an opportunity to mend and become stronger, more beautiful and more connected to a higher self. The life lessons which present themselves on our journeys reveal what lies within. Our scars are a deep connection to a collective soul…. Look through the cracks and past the black to see the gold within.

Pride in Burnham: Creating vibrant communities and making a difference in the community (world)

Burnham is a village with a large population and has more than its fair share of churches, societies, charities, organisations, community and voluntary sector groups. All these are dependent on numerous volunteers to carry out the work, giving their time and talents to make Burnham a better place to live. Most of these people do tremendous work and rarely get recognised for the magnificent job they do.

They all take great pride in our village of Burnham and it was this reason the Pride in Burnham project was established. We thought it important to try to identify those special people who have 'made a difference' in our village of Burnham. It was important to ask as many organisations as possible to help us in our search and there was a great response.

This involved artist Rhonda Fenwick contacting various groups and organisations to invite them to identify and nominate those people who strive to make a difference in the community of Burnham. Who have worked tirelessly for many years to foster good relationships, build partnerships, and create a more vibrant community through their efforts to make Burnham a better place to live.

Each person was nominated by their own charity, school, organisation or Society. Rhonda met with each of the nominated candidates to discuss their work and how they felt they 'made a difference' in the community. Through meetings and interviews with Rhonda the candidates gave an overview of what their work involved, and in their own words gave a biography. They were then photographed, each one enlarged and included in a display beginning in St Peter's church. It is anticipated the display will be shown in other community venues.

Pride of Burnham Booklet (pdf)

Pride of Burnham Poster (pdf)

Eton College Chapel Arts Projects with St Peter's C of E School, Burnham

To create artworks in response to the children's visit to the chapel at Eton College.

Through drawing, painting, photography, collage and printmaking the children will explore and develop artworks inspired by the history, culture and life of the chapel, looking at artists such as John Piper and William Morris. Both of these artists have work installed in the chapel, such as stained glass windows and tapestries.

Climate Change Arts Project: Burnica

TrANSFOrMErs have been discussing the effects of climate change on Planet Earth and what it means for the world's population and especially for their local community. Working together with artists Rhonda Fenwick and Gina Martin with youth leader Karmel Helmy they decided to create a large painting on canvas inspired by Picasso's Guernica. This is one of Picasso's most famous works, which is concerned with the bombing of Guernica and is certainly his most powerful political statement, painted as an immediate reaction to the Nazi's devastating casual bombing practice on the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

TrANSFOrMErs have created Burnica as a way of responding and to highlight the war we are waging on our planet through pollution, global warming, soil erosion, deforestation, and where many millions of people are living in poverty, starving to death, where people in third world countries have more access to mobile phones than to clean water. They have also written a letter to three world leaders to let them know of their concerns about the planet and to ask them to act fast in an attempt to bring about positive changes in a bid to save our world. So far they have had replies from HRH Prince Charles, David Cameron and the Department of the Environment, they await a reply from Barack Obama.

Skin Stories

Skin Stories begins with a film made in collaboration with Janssen Global of the Johnson & Johnson Company.

The following are recordings of interviews I did with three people who agreed to take part in the project: Mavis Adams, Ivy Hughes and David Burridge. They have either got psoriasis or know someone in their family who had it.

Mavis Adams

Ivy Hughes

David Burridge