Inspiring work created by toddlers at The Sixteen Thousand

Published: Wednesday 4th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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All children under the age of five in Hull have been given the chance to play a key part in the city’s cultural legacy thanks to The Sixteen Thousand.

Over 150 nursery schools and children’s centres across the city have been involved in this five-month project that allows little ones to embrace their creativity.

The final installation, which displays the finished piece, has now opened for public viewing.

“I am delighted that every nursery school in the city got involved in the project,” says Martin Green, Chief Executive and Director of Hull 2017. “I firmly believe that engaging in cultural activities from an early age can be the catalyst for a lifetime’s love for the arts.”

The project used 16 tonnes of clay, distributing it among nurseries so that youngsters could make their mark on each brick.

The materials were sourced and quarried locally, supplied by East Riding-based roof tile factory, Wienerberger. The company is the country’s leading provider of wall, roof and landscaping solutions, and they also fired the bricks once they were completed by the toddlers.

“Clay is the oldest artistic material and has been used for centuries to create both practical and aesthetic pieces, from making containers to store and transport food, to the decorative vases of the Ming Dynasty,” says Ian Martinson, Heritage Services and Factory 3 Team Leader at Wienerberger. “Encouraging children to work with these materials in this way from an early age is excellent for their development and allows them the freedom to express themselves.”

The bricks will be transported to Block C at the C4DI, near Hull Marina. From here they will be arranged in a unique style and stacked on specially made shelves that will allow visitors to view the creations from both outside and inside the building. Inside, a walkway has been crafted from the remaining clay.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity for some of the youngest people in the city to get hands-on and create something spectacular,” adds Martin Green.

On top of this, a number of workshops are to take place every Saturday whilst the exhibit is up, and every day during the school half term. These classes will encourage people of all ages to experiment with the clay and see what they can create from the ancient resource.

After the exhibition is over, the clay will eventually be returned to the quarry, where a brand new nature reserve will be formed.

You can see The Sixteen Thousand until Sunday 5 November at Block C at the C4DI. For further information, please visit the Hull 2017 website.

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Published: Wednesday 4th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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