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NADFASARTS EDUCATION AND HERITAGECONSERVATIONRight: LaleGuralp's strikingoutfit wasinspired by theWallaceCollection'sarmour galleries,as was LucyPatterson's dress (picturedfar left)museums. They spend time with theWallace conservation experts, handlingitems and learning about the techniquesinvolved. They also gain practical skills inanalysing works of art.At the 2009 masterclass studentsformed their own exhibitions from theWallace's collections and showed themin the lecture theatre using digital media.This event helps students confirm theirplans for university and explore possiblecareer opportunities in the arts. We willfund it for a third year and havediscussed the possibility of amasterclass on conservation.Last year Greater London funded aunique project with the WallaceCollection and Chelsea College of Artand Design. Sixty second-year BA(Hons) Textile students would use thesuperb armour galleries at the WallaceCollection as inspiration for their end-of-year show under the title 'Futuramour'.Arms and Armour curator TobiasCapwell guided the students through thegalleries and inspired them to think ofarmour not only as protection but alsoas works of art for display and status. The students created textiles knitted,woven and constructed in wool, leather,paper, plastic, metal and feathers. Theirdesigns were eye-poppingly imaginativeand amazingly professional.At the final show prizes were awardedfor the best design to Lale Guralp for astunning jacket and chaps of leather'feathers', and for 'The Spirit of theWallace Collection' awarded to LucyPatterson for a dress with trailingsleeves echoing armour design.In a successful partnership last Augustthe Area and Westminster DFAS teamedup to fund an art summer schoolplanned by the education team at theNational Portrait Gallery, and designedfor Key Stage 4 students in the Giftedand Talented Programme.The 15-and 16-year-olds approachedthe course with commitment andworked with the guest teachers to studyworks of art in the gallery and toexperiment with different techniquesincluding drawing, painting, photographyand digital work. At the final show, parents confidedthat they had no idea their children wereso talented; one said she withdrew heropposition to her son's wish to go to artschool and would give him total support.Most touchingly, one student said toanother: "You must go on, you reallymust. This is what you can do."These projects enable us to supportand fund valuable learning experiencesfor students that we don't have theexpertise or manpower to generateourselves. The students gain inexperience and confidence. Theysurprise themselves and those aroundthem with their progress and learn tosupport each other, forming realfriendships. They also form connectionsand familiarity with the galleries, whichwill serve them well in the future. Gillian Eeley is the Greater LondonArea Young Arts Representativewww.nadfas.org.ukNADFAS REVIEW SUPPLEMENT/ SUMMER 201011

YOUNG ARTSNADFASARTS EDUCATION AND HERITAGECONSERVATIONthe visitor around a church, looking atthe architecture, history and furnishings.It is designed for children aged betweeneight and 12, but we find that adultsenjoy following the questionnaire too. A separate answer sheet gives animmediate answer to the children'squestions, along with fuller, well-researched information for adults. Church Trails were originally intendedfor parents visiting a church with theirchildren, for tourists and for the church'scongregation. Yet groups such as theCub scouts and schools haveincreasingly shown an interest infollowing the Trails. Local clergy also findthem useful.When devising the questionnaires,adult supervision is a key consideration.The aim is to make the questions sparkinterest. Supervising adults can then usethis stimulus for continued discussion.A church provides an environment ofliving, breathing history - one thatdemonstrates how the lives of previousgenerations impinges on those of today.As such, whatever their religiousbackgrounds, the study of a localchurch is always relevant to our children.Further, comparative religion is frequentlyAbove: Anenthusasticgroup of Cubscouts Right:Children at St John theBaptist,Devizes, arejoined by localdignitariesNADFAS's Church Trails scheme is a fantastic way of engaging children inlocal history. And there are additional benefits, as Sarah HarrisexplainsTrailblazersLast September 60 school childrenvisited St John the Baptist inDevizes, Wiltshire, to study theirchurch and to launch the new NADFASChurch Trail.It was thrilling to see theinterest and absorption of so manychildren as, in small groups, theyconcentrated on their questions andlooked intently at the church. Among them was a group of smallboys who discussed with greatseriousness the shape of a font andwhether a six-sided shape was ahexagon or a hectagon. They alsodebated whether or not the water washoly before or after it went into the font!There was the fascination of a girllearning the meaning of a Latininscription on a brass memorial on thefloor (from an erudite NADFAS member).There are about 20 Church Trails inthe country (and a similar number in thepipeline) in churches that spread fromScotland, to the north, west, east anddown to the south of the country.WHAT IS A NADFAS CHURCHTRAIL?A NADFAS Church Trail is a simpleillustrated questionnaire which guides12NADFAS REVIEWSUPPLEMENT/ SUMMER 2010www.nadfas.org.uk