Hundreds of Sheffield school children are letting their imaginations take flight for HillsFest.
For students at Forge Valley School and pupils at Malin Bridge, Marcliffe, Hillsborough and Wisewood are creating gigantic, fantastical birds to hang from trees in Hillsborough Park, where the free, arts-based festival will take place on July 9 and 10.
The youngsters are working with local artists Soo Boswell and Charlie Narozanska, who formed Artboat four years ago.
Soo explained that each school had selected a winner from designs drawn by the children.
“We were hoping for a shape we could manage,” continued Soo. “But basically, the more fantastical, the better. And we wanted them to be as big as possible – they just needed to fit through the door!”
Now the artists, both from Hillsborough, are working with the pupils to turn what’s on paper into reality.
“We’ll have made the main structure beforehand from willow and tissue paper,” said Charlie. “Then we’ll work over two days at each school with up to 60 children, in small groups, to create it. The feathers will be made from recycled bits of material and collage stuff and we’ll fix the wings on afterwards.”
Added Soo: “The fantastical birds can then ‘fly’ down to HillsFest, where we hope all of the youngsters’ designs will be displayed.”
Charlie has a degree in 3D Studies, while Soo became involved in the art world through her work as an occupational therapist. They teamed up after meeting at Malin Bridge Primary School, which their own children attend.
Both were enthusiastic about HillsFest.
Said Soo: “Hillsborough is big and I’ve noticed it change over the years. HillsFest is a really good community event and something that’s different and new for Hillsborough.
“Hopefully it’ll show that you don’t have to live in another part of the city for something like this to happen. We have a lot of very creative people in this area.”
The project has been sponsored by Elmore Kindergarten, which was established in Sheffield in 1991 and has been in Hillsborough since 2010.
Said owner, Richard Marshall: “Having grown up in the north of Sheffield, I know the potential of the area. We are proud to support HillsFest, which will give the area the positive press it deserves.”
Commented Festival Director, Karen Sherwood: “I’m delighted that a local business is keen to support HillsFest, allowing children’s creativity to be an exciting part of this ambitious event.”