The East Kent Schools Together (EKST) partnership engaged Artist in Residence, Esther Miles, to work with students across its seven schools in a unique art collaboration entitled ‘Rearranging Deckchairs’. Following their display at Turner Contemporary the deckchairs will be exhibited in The Bay Trusts’s Pines Garden at St Margaret’s Bay during the month of September. The Bay Trust and EKST are Associate Partners with a number of shared aims around promoting wellbeing and improving the lives of children in East Kent.
The Kent coast has long been the inspiration for local artists. Continuing in this tradition East Kent Schools Together’s creative collaboration, Rearranging Deckchairs, took the seaside as its stimulus and has produced dozens of creatively adapted deckchairs. Students aged 14 to 18 from across the partnership collaborated at creative workshops, where they designed and made their own sling for the chairs. This textiles project taught new skills to students and staff alike and broadened artistic horizons. Additionally, it encouraged students to recycle clothing and fabric. This gives the work a real sense of narrative and heritage.
Artist in Residence Esther Miles: “I was thrilled to be part of a project that unites students from across the East Kent Schools Together partnership. Creative collaboration is such a great way to build community and an arts project of this scale has been extremely exciting for everyone involved.”
The project closely met the aims of East Kent Schools Together (EKST) by uniting young people from across the partnership; bringing together students from different social and economic backgrounds whilst giving the students the opportunity to learn new skills, in fresh environments which we enhanced confidence, wellbeing, teamwork skills and enabled the development of lasting and meaningful interactions. Student outreach ambassadors from CCCU played a key role in raising aspirations through role modelling whilst developing their leadership skills.
Christina Astin, co-chair of EKST: “This project introduced a new skill set for students and teachers, as well as breaking barriers between students from different backgrounds.”
Carrie Jackson, new CEO, The Bay Trust: “We are thrilled to be able to showcase this exciting community arts project demonstrating the amazing skills and talents of young people in our region. Our charity is transforming its creative health and wellbeing initiatives with young people and this is a perfect opportunity to embrace creativity in our natural gardens in St Margaret’s Bay. On the back of our collaboration with Franky Zapata landing in our Pines Garden on the 4th August after he set his record for crossing the channel on his Flyboard Air hoverboard, we are pleased that we can offer more exposure to local talent and innovation”.
Press are invited to meet the artist on 9 September at 11am when she will be curating the chairs in The Pines Gardens. With grateful thanks to an Anonymous Donor and the Crown Charitable Fund who have made this project possible.
Display will be in situ from the afternoon of 9 September until 30 September. Please note that in strong winds or rain the chairs will be taken in so as to ensure they are not damaged.
Twitter: @EKSTpartnership #RearrangingDeckchairs
Notes to Editors:
About East Kent Schools Together (EKST)
East Kent presents a diversity of economic, social and educational backgrounds for school children. We aim for pupils and staff to collaborate across schools, by sharing resources and exchanging experiences, to create mutual benefits, especially for disadvantaged children. East Kent Schools Together is an innovative independent-state school partnership, in which each school contributes and draws for the partnership on an equal footing for the benefit of all. The inclusion of a university partner opens exciting and innovative educational opportunities for the schools involved.
EKST is a partnership of state and independent schools and a university with the following members:
Canterbury Christ Church University
Dover Christ Church Academy
Herne Bay High School
St Anselm’s RC School
St Edmunds School, Canterbury
St Lawrence College
The King’s School
About The Bay Trust
The Bay Trust is a registered environmental charity that promotes outdoor learning through nature for children and young people as well as a wide range of health and wellbeing initiatives for communities of all ages. The team have a passion for environmental conservation and preservation and believe in the transformative power of children and youth to influence the future health and wellbeing of our communities, environment and planet. We focus on providing innovative outdoor learning initiatives to help people build new skills, develop confidence, esteem and emotional resilience. We have a specialist interest in supporting children from diverse backgrounds and intellectual abilities offering creative social impact projects that are not part of traditional school curricula and that embrace people’s strengths rather than their deficits. We provide learning opportunities at Rippledown Outdoor Learning Centre, Steps Bank and the Pines Gardens. We have a new health, wellbeing and creative arts hub in the Pines Calyx and 6 acres of beautiful gardens in St Margarets Bay open to the public as well as the Pines Garden TeaRooms and Museum. We are on a new transformative journey so now is the time to work with us. www.baytrust.org.uk. Contact Carrie Jackson, CEO at email@example.com.