Croydon kids get creative with Hale Man, Whitgift Centre artist-in-residence

By - Friday 29th August, 2014

Osheen Shrinivas tells how art and creativity have blossomed in the Whitgift Centre this summer

Kids get creative in a Hale Man workshop in Croydon’s Whitgift Centre. Photo by Liz Sheppard-Jones, used with permission.

Over the last few weeks, children on their summer holidays have been taking the chance to get creative with local artist Hale Man, currently the Whitgift Centre‘s artist-in-residence.

She has been running workshops in her studio space – an empty retail unit in the Whitgift Centre in central Croydon – offering fun and learning for children aged from 5 to 15 – and adults too. ‘Hale Connects With The Weenies’ (a programme organised in collaboration with the Whitgift Weenies holiday activity programme), has seen children painting, designing t-shirts, telling stories and working with clay.

A t-shirt designer displays his work. Photo by Hale Man, used with permission.

Hale has a deep passion for nurturing creative thinking and problem-solving through the creative process of the visual arts. Her past public art programmes have sought to engage with communities, and included 2012′s Creative Circles project, with its goal of transforming the lives of children and families with disabilities and special educational needs, giving the children the opportunity for creative expression and a support group to share their experiences.

Elements of Transformation, her current project for Croydon, seeks to inspire creativity and positivity in Croydon through art by running arts workshops and collaborating with other artists, and to explore themes of change as Croydon undergoes the sometimes challenging process of regeneration. Elements of Transformation also seeks to include the many and diverse communities of the area. In February 2015, the project will culminate in a major art installation for the Whitgift Centre, drawing together the exciting work that has been done.

I’m lucky enough to have been one of Hale’s volunteer team and I think you can see from the photographs here the excitement and fun that we’ve had, and the inspiration I hope we have offered.

Hale’s own artwork explores themes of identity, cultural heritage, migration and transformation. She trained at the Royal College of Art where she gained a Master’s degree in Fine Art and Painting.

It’s not over yet – the project continues through September. There’s still time to get involved and you can for more information.

Exhibiting the work of ‘Elements of Transformation’. Photo by Hale Man, used with permission.

Osheen Shrinivas

Osheen Shrinivas

I have a keen interest in global environmental and social issues and am currently majoring in Environmental Studies with Human Rights and Development at Skidmore College, New York. I am a resident of Croydon and this summer holiday I chose to volunteer with Hale Man's Artist studio and her amazing new art project, Elements of Transformation - I had not seen anything like this before in Croydon and will continue to write and support it from New York. I enjoy working with children and have had previous experience working with children with mental and physical disabilities. Art and social issues are my two main passions: I enjoy creating art (painting and sketching) and writing poetry. My work has been published in The 405 online magazine.

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