Camerata’s Portrait Of Chester

Posted on February 17, 2012

Supported by Philip Barker Trust, eight schools from across Chester have been working with Manchester Camerata musicians, a composer and visual artist to create original music and visual art inspired by living and growing up in Chester. The results were performed at Chester Cathedral on 27 January 2012.

Across four days of workshops, students from eight Chester primary schools worked with Camerata musicians Dave Tollington and Amina Hussain, composer Andy Smith and visual artist Harriet Hall to create original art and music inspired by living and growing up in Chester.

Through photography, collage, new music and lyrics, the children constructed a vibrant portrait of their local Chester community, and what it means to them.

In the first week, students from the central Chester area concentrated their creative energy on aspects of the City Centre.

They created sketchbooks representing their own experiences and memories of major Chester landmarks including the Cathedral, Canal and City Walls.

In the second week, students from the Blacon of the city area explored their local community with a tour guide. For this week, the artistic focus was on the transformation of Blacon over time – from farmland, to army camps, to industrial hub, all contributing to a portrait of Blacon today.

Reflecting on their memories and experiences of Chester, the students have also created a photographic collage in the shape of Chester.

This will be displayed as part of a pre-concert installation at Bridgewater Hall alongside other Portraits – created as projects carried out in other parts of the North West of England – later in the season.

The students’ performance of Portrait of Chester was held in Chester Cathedral on 27 January 2012.

So what did the participants think of the project:

‘I really enjoyed it because it was a chance to meet new people…I also wrote my own song, which was cool.’

‘I enjoyed it because I got to make lots of art things and music things and I liked the teachers!’

‘I enjoy art and I LOVE music so this was an amazing experience.’

‘It was fun and we did lots of different things and everyone was supportive.’

This week I learn’t 1that art and music connect’

‘…. some art and writing songs, and best of all, playing my instrument.’

Supported by:

Philip Barker Charity