East met West this spring when children and young people from Highworth and Blunsdon schools worked with well-known Japanese artists, Taku and Mari Ono, both of whom are skilled in traditional techniques.
Taku was the National Trust artist in residence in 2009 and Mari has written a number of books on origami. They visited the 6 schools during February and Taku led a master class on Sami-e, black ink work. Mari did some origami. The children displayed their work to their parents and the school community following the master class.
After this the schools set up an exhibition in Highworth library which ran over Easter. The families of the children whose work was displayed, local dignitaries and school staff were invited to a launch after which the exhibition was open free to the community. The whole programme was funded through Extended Services for Highworth and Blunsdon.
Claire Smith, coordinator said, "This group of schools regularly likes to celebrate the talent of our young people with the wider community. Last year we had a big music event, this year we are focusing on multicultural art.
"Taku was amazing! Even the youngest children were silent and enthralled as he demonstrated how his simple brushwork created a picture. We are also lucky to have the support of the library service which allowed this exhibition to be shared with the local community".