The Swan of Lichfield project 2010
Hundreds of origami swans were seen in Lichfield following a mammoth effort by artist Celia Houghton. Celia is one of the cities most enduring artists, who is at the forefront of delivering access to the arts through her role as Lichfield District Councils Arts Officer. She is however also an artist in her own right, and as part of a major community arts project, developed a fantastic project to young budding artists to inspire them to embrace creative thinking.
During June and July Celia visited 6 local primary schools, including St James Primary. Longdon, St Josephs, Chadsmead Primary, Charnwood Primary, Lichfield Willows Primary, and Greysbrooke Primary, Shenstone and offered an insight into one of Lichfield’s most significant figures – Anna Seward – ‘The Swan Of Lichfield’.
As part of the workshops children were invited to follow Stewards footpath and write their own poetic verse, and then convert their poem into a beautiful tribute in the shape of an Origami Swan. In total 545 children participated in the project, which also saw Celia introduce the children to Dr Johnson, asking them to create their own word and definition for a children’s dictionary for the city, which was also on show.
Peter Walker Project Coordinator said “At the centre of the art projects we are running, is the objective to get people involved in the arts. Art is far more than just drawing a picture of something you see, and by involving children in creating art we are introducing them to a plethora of imaginative ways to look at the world. In Celia we have a perfect artist, skilled in opening the eyes of children to the possibilities of art, and I am delighted that her commitment has resulted in such beautiful results”.