Kids Art Week – get signed up!!

We’ve taken part in Kids Art Week the past 2 years and love it. There are 5 essons to do over 5 days. We tend to do one lesson a week over the summer break , rather than one a day. The Artist Carla Sonheim does this each year for free, and it is a great way for children to explore different artists and techniques. This years theme is Animals and I cannot wait to see what lesson we have this year. You can sign up HERE 

One of our previous blog posts on what Lil Lady Produced HERE


You can find the previous years playlist HERE





The Boys research piece of Len Johnson …

The Boys Project at Archives+  came to an end today. .This is his finished work on Len Johnson the Manchester Black Boxer born in Moss Side and the colour bar in boxing and how he created an organisation to raise awareness about the colour bar and to stop discrimination..fascinating story and so proud at how much effort he put in. I love his art work too.a surprising talent I didn’t know he had.

The final work will be up on their official blog in a week or so…

A little appreciation ….

Today we had a fabulous morning listening to the amazing Halle Orchestra and music inspired by the British Isles at the Bridgewater Hall here in Manchester.

My eldest joined us today also… as a family we love listening to Classical- that is between the usual chart, RnB ..old soul for me and Lil’ Lady loves rock and metal (seriously don’t know how, we don’t play it often.) It is always on in the background when we are working. None of the chldren have ever expressed an interest in playing a classical instrument but I like to further their apprecoation of it. 

I like to show them that Classical music is accessible to be enjoyed by all. As a black person and one who grew up in poverty there was so much outside my scope.. so much I could not access that I craved and as a parent and facilitator in my children’s education it is my job to ensure that their horizons are clear of any obstruction.  My children may never become classical artists but it doesn’t mean they should be shut off from enjoying the beauty of music.  

Who knows in the future it may be their solace, their muse or just a simple way to kick back and unwind… so today was about them gaining a little more understanding and of course enjoyment and the Halle delivered.. 

The Boy came out of the concert upbeat saying he really enjoyed it, particularly the piece by Handal HANDEL Music for the Royal Fireworks: La Réjouissance.. as soon as we returned home he searched the piece out to listen again (big win.)

Lil’ Lady although quietly kicking back and listening inside the concert chatted happily about it on the way home. 

The programme kicked off with;



Followed by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) The Young Person Guide to the Orchestra (Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell) which was fantastic…

… and a great introduction to the other pieces, another favourite being Karl Jenkins Pallido For Strings: Allegretto.

But what I loved most of all was seeing a young black conductor.. you see nearly everywhere we go we are the only black face/people of colour. When we visited the country park for a forest school day last week we bumped into a black woman with her family and we instantly smiled and let onto each other as of we recognised each other as old friends..which made me laugh because the simple fact was we we were surprised and then happy to see another person of colour .. a black person reflected back at us enjoying a non traditional black space (this happens often and if your another Black person/person of colour, you’ll have probably had this happen to you too fro  time to time.) 

So yes back to the conductor. . as soon as I saw him a big cheshire cat grin spread across my face. 


Because it was so important for my children to see themselves and people like me reflected in all they do..all they inspire to do. In spaces they occupy. So that they can see that there is nothing out there in this world that they cannot do if they choose to. So a big thankyou to the Conductor Jonathan Heyward your presence is noted and I am so very thankful for it. 

Gallery Hacks…

The local Gallery has started to do Home Education sessions for teens during the week… 

I’m so excited about it..and the only reason  they’ve extended the service because so many home educated children use the holiday sessions .

So this week is week 2 of 4 sessions. ..

Last week it was a Chinese New Year themed activity involving circuits and the bot was pleased with what he was able to design and create ..

This week they got messy. ..creating using paint,  shaving foam and ink. ..the boy opted to do ink prints… I love the finished print. ..

But I love that he’s able to break up the week and get away from the more formal studies of his GCSE’s and do something totally different and be creative. 

Street Art and City Scapes. ..

Since half term the Boy has been taking advantage of sessions at Manchester Central Library Achieves +

They have had on Art sessions for the Home Ed community (arranged by a Home Ed parent) themed  around Manchester and Street Art/City Scapes which has been fabulous for a continuation of our street art Adventures this past year (  see my previous post  HERE)

The  first session they looked at literal street art and the architecture of the buildings in Manchester City centre…

Then today he went on an  art walk… sketching city scapes on umbrellas whilst learning about the History of some of the buildings in Manchester.Old and New.
Manchester town hall- it’s bell tower 280 feet tall, with 25 bells and it too 14 million bricks to build and it’s outer wall is 7ft thick.

The Midland Hotel- has  7 different types of marble and it’s where the meeting of Mr Royles and Mr Royce took place and Royles Royce was born…ad they have a suit names after them.

The Gmex -used to be a railway station in the 1800’s until tracks expanded into the city centre…it was refurbished in the 80s/90s into an event centre..  its now called Manchester Central and Central Library itself ….

(These are the Boys highlights)

Even my eldest took part…and absolutely adored it so well repeat this on our own with Lil’ Lady too.

In the New Year they’ll continue doing a history project on Manchester.. The Boy and his friend will be using an animation program to create a film on  the changing nature of Manchester over the past hundred years..

Street Art Walk with the Boy …

So today we mixed a little culture, art, polictics and social history on this art walk.  Back in June Manchester hosted a Cities of Hope Street Art festival. If you’ve seen my instagram you will see that we searched out lots of pieces then rsearched them at home, so when I saw this tour I had to book the Boy on.

The tour focused on the changing face and history of Manchester through it’s street art in the Northern Quarter and Ancoats.

He absolutely loved it. He came home talking about how he disliked the council and their erossion of art in the city centre to make way for gentrification (win!!)

He was amazed at just how much there is that he has just passed by and never noticed before.  These are just a few of the pictures and pieves from today….

Converse advert was the biggest mural in Manchester before the Cities of Hope exhibtion. This piece was by Phonographic, a female Artist from Sheffield. SHe always does things you woudl’nt find in the city, so birds…..Which has spawned a whole host of pieces that are not just art but adverts, but it’s a double edged sword as artists need to eat

Old man and woman City of Hope piece by Christian Guemy and an interpretation of the work by artist currently unknown.

This is a long lost Banksy that Manchester council has “protected” by putting some perspex over the top which casue condensation and mold which essentially destroyed the piece. Its now covered by these flyers, and tags. It was forgotten for over 10 years. The smaller character symbolises hidden things that are lost.

Cities of Hope piece about dealing with subatace abuse and mentsl health. This piece is by an artist called Case. The man in the art is homeless and this was a piece done after work done withthe charity Back on Track. Homelessness is a huge issue in MAnchester at the moment. Finding cut. Benefits cut. Not enough housing, austerity cuts, and it too is affecting the changing face of Manchester.

Below the mural is an iron curb. This can not be found anywhere else in the world and is unique to Manchester. These where used during the industrial revolution because the barrels of goods cracked the curbs so they were replaced with iron instead. I never knew this about my own city…..

Street signs white to blue means east to west. The font of the signs was specially created and only found in this area.

This mural about the elements it was made by four different artists and will no longer be available to view as gentrification of Manchester continues.  A high rise will be built in front of it so it will no longer be in view.

This Mosaic is an outline of a Cotton Mill that existed during the industrial revolution that was demolished. .it was created by local schools and the community to pay homage to Manchester’s industrial and textile past…it you look can see the room..the outline of the windows etc…

The pale colours tiles are newspaper articles and documents  from the years the cotton mill existed.

The blue tiles are imprints of the lace work and fabrics that were produced at the cotton mill all those years ago. ..
We’ve passed this Mosaic for years and never knew what once existed there or what it represented…. 

I could go on and on…it was such a great tour…and a great way to learn about Manchester’s History..and about current issues facing the city…

Kids Art Week Day 4: Nature Faces

Todays lesson was so inspiring!

We started the day on a nature trail in the park collecting leaves, twigs, stones and flowers to add to our already heavy stash of natural items we collect when out and about.

Once home we watched the lesson video….Lil was bouncing to get started.

She spent a good hour making different faces with the items we collected as well as incorporating paint



After she finished we also spent some time researching the Artist Andy Environmental Artist who was mentioned in  the lesson video. ..Lil was riveted. We watched so many different videos surrounding  his work…all I could hear was her exclaiming “Amazing” as she watched him work in the environment creating sculptures…

We watched the following Videos

Andy Goldsworthy Naturalist Artist – P1

Andy Goldsworthy Naturalist Artist – P2

Andy Goldsworthy Documentary Rivers and Tides The ice sculptures here were amazing!

She was so inspired she create one of her own