Artcrimes

Welcome to the website of Susan M. Coles, Artist & Arts, Creativity & Educational Consultant.

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I had read some time ago, the great news about the Leonardo da Vinci 500 exhibition with his drawings being distributed to galleries across the UK, and made a mental note to make sure I did get to see some. I was also delighted to see that we were having a set in our Sunderland Museum and Art Gallery. www.rct.uk/about/press-office/press-releases/nationwide-exhibitions-of-drawings-by-leonardo-da-vinci-from-the

So then, it was an unexpected and happy surprise to be asked to be involved in creating key stage 1,2,3 and 4 resources for the Sunderland Exhibition and to work alongside my colleague Paul Carney on that. www.paulcarneyarts.com
sunderlandculture.org.uk/our-venues/sunderland-museum-winter-gardens/leonardo-da-vinci/leonardo-da-vinci-schools-programme
Then, to take part and lead the teacher inset morning in March was an added pleasure. We had such a good session, a variety of activities and workshops and also a chance to see the exhibition before the public arrived. Presenters included Sheila Graber, Little Inventors and Paul Carney.sunderlandculture.org.uk/our-venues/sunderland-museum-winter-gardens/leonardo-da-vinci/leonardo-da-vinci-schools-programme

And then, serendipitously, I was also asked to run two teacher inset sessions at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield, around their Leonardo show and two inset sessions at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery. It just seemed as if March was my Leonardo month! To then also win a prize in the Big Draw raffle, of THREE rather beautiful books about the artist, seemed too good to be true, but it wasn’t and I have immersed myself in research and appreciation ever since then. In Sheffield we explored his interest in the weather and deluges, his designs for inventions, his biology studies and the idea of making zines and mini books and keeping a notebook as Leonardo did. In Derby, we continued to explore the weather, worked on designs for a sculpture to be situated outside the new Museum of Making, used the local skyline as a focus for a deluge in Derby, created a map of our journeys and generally talked about drawing and art and the use of #STEAM and #making in the classroom.

I also managed to visit the Leonardo show in Leeds and intend to get to the large show of all the drawings later this year. I think so many people have the cliched images of the artist in mind, the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper etc. But what these exhibitions open up are the mind of a great and significant polymath, a scientist, an engineer, an inventor, a mathematician, a designer, a botanist, and someone who never lost the urge to find out more.

I thank the organisations that invited me into this project. Thank you Jennie (Sunderland, Anita and Laura (Sheffield) and Andrea (Derby). I shall continue to showcase Leonardo’s work in my insets and work with schools, colleges, and universities. It has been such an honour and pleasure to be involved. Most of all, seeing members of the public standing in queues, just to see these drawings, was so very inspiring at a time when the country is so fractured and damaged. Art conquers all!

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