On 10th August West Horsley Place held the first of our planned series of ‘pathfinder’ arts courses; their purpose is to enable learning to take place here at the earliest opportunity, even before renovation works and using our existing spaces as they are. We want to learn from the experience in preparation for future programmes. We are planning more pathfinder courses for next year and will keep you updated via the newsletter.
Our first workshop led by artist Katie Sollohub was charcoal drawing. 10 students (many of whom had no previous experience of working in charcoal) spent the day exploring the nooks and crannies of the house finding inspiration for the drawings they would create. They started by making tiny hand-held sketches as they wandered the house, getting a feel for the medium and a sense of what they might like to create. They went on to make large charcoal drawings in situ, working all over the house. It was immensely gratifying to have arts students learning here and to see them exploring their creativity and imagination at West Horsley Place- an exciting snapshot of the future.
Artist Katie Sollohub has been coming to West Horsley Place for some time, finding inspiration for her own practice. She tells us of her experience leading the first ever art workshop to take place here,
“It was a great privilege to be the leading the first creative art workshop at West Horsley Place, a sentiment shared with all the participants. Not only to have access to this wonderful house, but to spend the time really looking at it, as a whole, and in detail: following where the eye travels with charcoal in your hand, means you really get to know a place. And this place is so rich in atmosphere, colour, light, and pattern, so full of history and narrative, there is much to be inspired by. I am sure it will be the first of many workshops using the house as a subject.”
Students on the day were full of enthusiasm for the possibilities of learning creative arts at West Horsley Place, a few of their comments are below:
“A glorious time capsule, I feel privileged to have spent the day drawing here.”
“The spirit of the place is welcoming- delights in sharing itself with people.”
“To have such a historic place in our locality is great, to be able to be creative here is very special.”