CM Artist Rhiannon was thrilled to have recently secured National Lottery funding to run weekly art sessions at KRAN (Kent Refugee Action Network) for the next 12 months. She spent time living in the Middle East a few years back, and upon her return home, she felt inspired to help those who had traveled to the UK to seek refuge.
She began running art sessions at KRAN in October 2018, and was running them once a month. The sessions were a huge success, and participants really engaged with their creative activity. Now the funding is in place, she has been made their official Artist-In-Residence and will run a weekly art club at KRAN.
Many of the refugees are teenagers who have had little or no access to art education. Each week she will be providing a variety of different mediums for them to explore, whilst teaching them new artistic techniques. Rhiannon is also planning on running a number of Art Trips to local galleries to help them learn more about the work of famous artists.
Rhiannon has also secured an exhibition next summer at the Beany Museum & Gallery, Canterbury to showcase the artwork created by the refugees. She is making plans with a local school in Canterbury so that the A-Level Art pupils can work with the refugees at KRAN on collaborative pieces for the art exhibition next summer. We can’t wait to see how it all comes together!
Here’s some examples of some of the projects they’ve worked on so far…
They recently redecorated the reception area at the centre and wanted it to incorporate patterns from the various cultures of refugees at KRAN. Rhiannon cut out the shapes and they decorated each one in a traditional cultural pattern. Each of the colourful pieces were then tessellated across the reception desk to give this lovely vibrant finish. Everyone loves the end result!
In another session Rhiannon got them to have a go at observational painting. They studied images of birds, which they then recreated in paint. Rhiannon was astounded at their level of creativity and some beautiful paintings were produced.
In another fun session Rhiannon encouraged them to create more abstract work. In this session they created geometric portraits where prints of faces were placed over watercolour and tissue paper-bleed backgrounds. These vibrant colourful works looked really striking, and they had great fun trying out this new technique.
Rhiannon says; “I really enjoy working with the refugees at KRAN. There is so much talent waiting to be wriggled out of this bunch. They’ve been creating some amazing work and I’m excited to see them grow in confidence over the next year.”