The budding young artists enjoyed a tour of the museum before a masterclass in printmaking from local artist Anna Alcock. Anna, who creates stunning art at nearby Inky Cuttlefish Studios, helped the class explore the Morris-approved topic of ‘Inspiration From Nature’ as part of their art and design studies.
“It was an honour and pleasure working with such a talented group of young enthusiastic artists,” said Anna. “They got to learn about William Morris, his love of the traditional art of relief printing and his inspiration from nature. They did drawings from nature and then designed and did their own safe and simple relief print which they printed on a traditional printmaking press.”
The session was the first of what Waltham Forest Council hopes will be many school visits to the William Morris Gallery. As part of the redevelopment the second floor – a previously under-used part of the building – has been converted into a learning space offering ‘wet’
and ‘dry’ craft centres and the chance for primary and secondary-age pupils to experience the legendary designer’s work and ideas first-hand.
To accompany the new facilities, gallery staff have put together a range of workshops and learning resources for schools. The Gallery is offering taught sessions as well as practical workshops led by professional artists, all of which have links to subjects such as art and design, history, literacy, maths and citizenship.
“In the short time since the reopening visitors from all over the borough and all over the world have flocked to the William Morris Gallery,” said Cllr Ahsan Khan, Waltham Forest’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing. “Our work has received rave reviews and we’re naturally overjoyed by the praise we’ve received and the sheer number of people who’ve paid the Gallery a visit.
“One of our main aims has always been to ensure the Gallery would be beneficial for every person living in Waltham Forest. The school sessions form a major part of this, as they offer students an exciting and practical way to engage with their schoolwork while learning more about their borough’s rich heritage.”
For more information about the William Morris Gallery and the learning opportunities it offers visit www.wmgallery.org.uk , For more information about Inky Cuttlefish Studios, visit www.inky-cuttlefish.co.uk