Since 2014 we have worked with over 6,000 young people in schools to create extraordinary nature-inspired pieces that have featured in the festivals. 

The workshop strand is delivered in partnership with Priormade, a design and fabrication company led by Beck Prior who creates ambitious, imaginative and sustainable work.

WVRF2022 Schools’ Project 

This year the team worked with four schools in the Wye Valley: Kymin View, Llandogo, Redbrook and Weston-under-Penyard.

The workshops explored the festival theme of Human: Nature. They encouraged the pupils to think about how what we do affects the environment, as well as learning fun facts about ourselves. Did you know, for example, that the length of our face is equal to length of our hand, that our eyes are separated by one eye’s width and that your total height is equivalent to seven heads??

Inspired by work using sustainable bamboo by our partner Imagineer, pupils used plasticine and other materials to practice sculpting skills, and then used UK-grown bamboo to explore shape, form and sustainability. Each group made some individual faces and small-scale bamboo sculptures, as well as painting larger pieces of bamboo which contributed to a large scale piece that was displayed at the Bridges Centre in Monmouth throughout the 2022 Festival. The workshops finished by the groups doing a Human: Nature quiz, and agreeing environmental pledges for the year ahead.

[The workshop was] “extremely fun and engaging. The children smiled and were engaged throughout the whole session; learning and wanting to do more.”

Finished Bamboo Sculpture

At the Bridges Community Centre we created and installed a 2m tall face using the same process as the young people tested; instead of bamboo skewers we used 3m bamboo sticks, a total of 750 sticks from all of the school workshops. The base was cut from sustainable 18mm birch plywood. The sculpture was designed to form a face only at certain angles and have an explosion of colour out the back that could be interpreted as referencing imagination and energy.

Wye Valley River Festival will be working with Priormade and Imagineer on more projects using bamboo… watch this space!