Inspiring Local Young Talent at River & Rowing Museum

This Spring, the River & Rowing Museum champions budding local talent with several displays in forthcoming months highlighting work from local young people, whose projects have drawn inspiration from the Museum’s exhibitions and surroundings.

The River & Rowing Museum’s William Morris Exhibition has provided the inspiration behind work by young people attending Bishopswood School, Bishopswood After School Club and Bishopswood Holiday Club which will be on display from Tuesday, 30 April – Wednesday, 15 May.

As part of the Museum’s Community Gallery display ‘An Earthly Paradise: The Ripple Effect’, the young group were asked to explore how people experienced the River Thames in William Morris’ day and discover rarely seen items from the Museum’s River Collection. Through their exploration of the William Morris exhibition, the groups studied his designs, heavily influenced by nature, as well as his letter designs. The display will include colourful block prints following Morris’ technique, 3D lettering using paint, papier mâché and modelling dough using printing blocks on loan from the University of Reading Department of Typography and Graphic Communication, and a 3D collage scene featuring William Morris fishing on the River Thames.*

Helen Cook, Head of Learning, River & Rowing Museum said, “It has been fantastic to see how inspirational William Morris’ work has been to the groups of young people we work with. His use of textures, design and the passion he draws from nature – and specifically the Thames – seems to really resonate with visitors of all ages, from school to colleges, SEN groups to the Museum’s Artways Art Club.”

Following the Bishopswood display, there will be an exhibition of work by students from Gillotts School who are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award. They have researched William Morris’ campaigning techniques and chosen to create their own campaign around fair working conditions in the cocoa industry.  Their work will be on display Thursday, 16 May – Sunday, 9 June.

In celebration of Oxfordshire Art Weeks, the River & Rowing Museum, is exhibiting ‘Palettes and Paddles’ from Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 May, an exciting exhibition of paintings and artwork by young people attending the Museum’s Artways Art Club. This exhibition will showcase their work from across the year and feature creative pieces from students working towards Arts Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

As part of the 14th Henley Arts Trail, Saturday 4 – Monday 6 May, an eclectic variety of original work by local artists will be displayed in the River & Rowing Museum’s Learning Centre. With ceramics by Bronwen Coussens & Martin Eastabrook, jewellery by Martina Fabian, photography by Virginia Davis, paintings by Laraine Rook & Patricia Lynch, sculptures by Sonny Moore & Hannah Stembridge-King, it will be a stunning display.

*William Morris’ work has been funded by Henley Municipal Charities: Education Charity, the P F Charitable Trust and Mr and Mrs J A Pye’s Charitable Settlement and Arts Council England.