Despacito Art School, current

The Despacito Art School is a hands-on place to learn about art, craft and functional object-making. Despacito is open to young people aged 6 to 11, who live in and around Cliftonville West and beyond. They named the art school after their favourite 2017 summer hit.

It takes place every Wednesday afternoon, 4-6pm.

The Despacito participants have a say about the programme and contribute, via the Despacito Council, to shaping the sessions, which this year are co-led by OSE alumni Emily Whitebread and Sarah Karen, with occasional guest collaborators (this term the Margate theatre organisation 1927). The delivery of Despacito is supported by OSE team members Ayaan Bulale (aka Miss Ayaan) and Louis Palfrey as well as OSE 2019 Associates Emily Demetriou, Rhona Foster, Laurène Gitton, Holly Hunter, Annie Nichols and Jules Varnedoe.

New Sessions / Voices of Margate:
5 June to 24 July 2019

This term will focus on using our voices to demonstrate what Margate means to us. This will be explored through a series of workshops that will focus on two basic mediums, sound and print. We will be working with singer sarasara to create a unique and exciting soundscape that will evoke our thoughts and feelings of the town alongside a print workshop led by artist/textile designer Yemi Awosile.

Wednesday 5 June 2019
Sounds from Margate – Excursion to Olby’s Soul Cafe and Music Rooms: this will be our first soundscape session with singer, musician and producer sarasara. We will look at a basic map of Margate and identify key areas of the town that are important to us. We will begin working on our soundscape by recording words and phrases that represent our thoughts and feelings of the town we live in.

Wednesday 12 June 2019
Messages from Margate: in this session we will revisit our sound recordings and pick out words and phrases that can be used to inspire simple but BOLD posters. Our posters will draw influence from the Russian constructivism movement and will use a limited colour palette of paint, cut-out letters, and basic monoprinting.

Wednesday 19 June 2019
Messages from Margate part 2: in this session we will demonstrate the power of physical print by taking an active role in displaying our posters in highly visible areas around town, including billboards and shop windows. The posters will carry our unique hashtag #despacitoartschool and we will use this as an opportunity to create anticipation in the lead up to Margate Carnival.

Wednesday 26 June 2019
Cyanotype workshop – capturing movement: how can the body be used to create and evoke different feelings? How can we use movement as a tool to communicate? In this session we will watch short snippets from films and cartoons, and then create prints influenced by these clips using a large piece of cyanotype fabric. These prints will be used as flags during the Margate Carnival procession.

Wednesday 3 July 2019
Power of print with Yemi Awosile (as part of TP2019): in this session we will use our building and its interior to create rubbings, drawings and texts that we will then manipulate via photocopying and monoprinting. We will look at how we can use basic printing techniques to manipulate drawings and textures to take on new meanings and narratives. We will use the results to reclaim and alter the narrative of our space.

Wednesday 10 July 2019
Carnival prep: in this session we will construct more props and decorations for Margate Carnival. We will start by creating small and large mouths, ears, speech bubbles and puppets out of cardboard.

Wednesday 17 July 2019
Carnival prep part 2: in this session we will continue making props for Margate Carnival, as well as adding iron-on logos that we have designed to the t-shirts we will be wearing during the carnival procession.

Wednesday 24 July 2019 (double session)
Sounds from Margate part 2: in this second session with sarasara we will be creating simple sounds with our bodies eg. clapping, tapping and thumping. These sounds will be recorded and merged with our previous recordings to create a unique soundscape ready to be played during the carnival procession. This session will be split into two 90 minute sessions.

Past Sessions / Margate is a Playground:
20 February to 29 May 2019

We spent the first term of the year using our bodies, voices, and immediate surroundings to create playful sights and sounds. These will be used as material for an audio visual project depicting a fantastical version of Margate, designed by the Despacito young people. To keep us cool, calm and collected during this mammoth task of redesigning our town, we will also be setting time aside each session to practise simple moving meditations and relaxation techniques.

Wednesday 20 February 2019
Mapping the skyline: introduction to our new space with the Despacito young people, their parents, and a translator from Roma In The Lead. We will have drinks, nibbles, and take part in a workshop in which we will map the views seen from our new space, considering how our new surroundings could inspire our fantasy version of Margate.

Wednesday 27 February 2019
Growing things: how does greenery affect the spaces we inhabit? We will spend this session learning about plants, parks, and trees, and we will plant the first seeds for our new indoor garden, which we will maintain throughout the year.

Wednesday 6 March 2019
Become a piece of architecture: what would it be like to spend the afternoon as a building? We will spend this session exploring our new building floor by floor, inch by inch, imagining what it would be like to become a piece of architecture for a short while. We will then consider what types of buildings we would want to populate our new town and why.

Wednesday 13 March 2019
Noise planning: what noises do we want to hear in our new town? We will spend this session considering what noises are necessary for a functioning town and which ones we could do without. We will then create and record a noisy composition as a soundtrack to our new town, based on the sounds we hear in and around our new space.

Wednesday 20 March 2019
Moving buildings: if buildings were alive, how would they move? This session will be led in collaboration with 1927, where we will be designing, drawing and animating our own fantasy buildings.

Wednesday 27 March 2019
Realising our town part 1: in this session we will begin creating a cardboard model of our town, working in different teams to design different areas.

Wednesday 3 April 2019
Realising our town part 2: in this session we will complete the cardboard model of our town, joining our different sections together.

Wednesday 10 April 2019
Realising our town part 3: in this session we will complete the cardboard model of our town, joining our different sections together.

Wednesday 17 April 2019
Weave a sculpture: using chicken wire and fabric strips we will make several big woven structures that could be placed around our new town.

Wednesday 24 April 2019
Placards: words are powerful. In this session we will make written banners to show the world what we care about (people, a place, the environment etc.).

Wednesday 1 May 2019
Imagined self-portraits: what is the difference between you and your environment? In this session we will make silhouette self-portraits, filling in the blank spaces with images that reflect our environment, our personalities, and our wildest dreams.

Wednesday 8 May 2019
Murals: in this session we will create a unique and colourful display to feature in and attract people to our new town.

Wednesday 15 May 2019
Murals 2: in this session we will continue to work on our unique and colourful display for our new town.

Wednesday 29 May 2019
Shapes in the outdoors: in this session we will create temporary geometric shape sculptures for our local park, taking influence from what we see in nature.

Past sessions / Heroes:
19 September to 28 November 2018

Wednesday 19 September
Creating comics: recalling and embellishing memories of summer to create our own short comics.

Wednesday 26 September
Characteristics: thinking about the characteristics of heroes and villains (brave and kind, wicked and cunning etc). How can we represent these traits through colour and form?

Wednesday 3 October
Animation: workshop with 1927.

Wednesday 10 October
Designing our characters: heroes and sidekicks, villains and henchmen. What will they look like? What powers will they have? Do they have a catchphrase? World Mental Health Day special session on feelings and exploring emotions.

Wednesday 24 October (half term double session)
Creating our costumes: using our designs to create our own heroes and villains costumes ready for Halloween.

Saturday 27 October
Despacito showcase: an exhibition showcasing the work of the Despacito Art School.

Wednesday 31 October
Halloween trick or treat: wearing our costumes and following a trick or treat map of Athelstan Road.

Wednesday 7 November
Action figures: using wire and plasticine to turn our heroes into action figures.

Wednesday 14 November
Action figures 2: using wire and plasticine to turn our villains into action figures.

Wednesday 21 November
Creating a scene: placing our action figures into a scene by creating 3D comics from cardboard.

Wednesday 28 November
Creating a scene 2: continuing to place our action figures into a scene by creating 3D comics from cardboard.

Past Sessions / Margate Carnival:
4 July to 5 August 2018

Wednesday 4, Wednesday 11 July & Wednesday 18 July
Carnival School: working on large collaborative sculptures, on props and costumes using materials including recycled items.

Monday 30 July to Thursday 2 August, every day between 11am and 2pm
Carnival School: last final boost before the big day!

Sunday 5 August
Margate Carnival!

Past sessions / Creatures of Cliftonville:
9 May to 27 June 2018

Wednesday 9 May
Slimy creatures: learning how to make slime to create our own creatures.

Wednesday 16 May
Designing and printing T-shirts / Tai Chi: learning printing processes to make our own t’shirts. The session also explores Tai Chi techniques to think about movement and the motion of different species – something we will continue to practice in the following weeks.

Wednesday 23 May
Hackathon characters: reusing and reassembling old toys to create our own imaginary characters.

Wednesday 30 May
Kite Making: designing and constructing our own kites to fly, looking at the birds of Cliftonville to give us ideas: from seagulls, sanderlings and pigeons to parakeets.

Wednesday 6 June
Instrument Making: making our own instruments out of this week’s recycled materials to think about how different objects can create unique sounds.

Wednesday 13 June
The Art of Cooking: weigh, chop, mix and taste, thinking about cooking as a creative and sensory process, and inventing our own recipes.

Wednesday 20 June
Shadow puppets and painting with light: using digital and manual processes (e.g. card cut-outs and cameras) to think about shape and light.

Wednesday 27 June
Clay animals: modelling, building and decorating our own clay animals.

Past sessions: January to April 2018

This round of Despacito echoed the project ‘Emperor Qin’s Mausoleum‘ led by Marguerite Humeau, which ran in parallel and explored the afterlife, antiquity and space. The programme for Despacito was put together Heather Tait.

Wednesday 31 January
Who is awesome? Who do we celebrate?: create large 3d Portraits

Wednesday 7 February
Mummies: explore ‘wrapping’ methods using string, wool and other fabrics

Wednesday 14 February
Build and decorate a space rocket inspired by the LIDO Tower

Wednesday 21 February
Clay modelling: create our own terracotta army that will journey with us to the new planet

Wednesday 28 February
Build a wall: brick making from plaster of Paris and foraged items e.g. seaweed, shells, etc.

Wednesday 7 March
Chalk carving: inspired by hieroglyphics we will create our own symbolic language and carve it into the chalk

Wednesday 14 March
Metalwork: embossing and wired metalwork

Wednesday 21 March
Jewellery making: bracelets, badges and pendants using sea glass and other found items

Wednesday 28 March
Make a time capsule: what should we leave behind?

Wednesday 4 April
Candle making

Wednesday 11 April
Costume making part 1

Wednesday 18 April
Costume making part 2

Past sessions: Autumn 2017

Wednesday 4 October
Printing from drain covers
We will be making prints from drain covers and other street furniture. We will be painting onto the covers using printing ink and making prints from them. We will also experiment with rubbings and make prints of road signs and other text based street furniture.

Wednesday 11 October
T-shirt printing from drain covers

Using last weeks techniques we will make printed t-shirts for themselves

Wednesday 18 and 25 October (half term)
Giant sweetshop

We will create enlarged versions of favourite sweets as individual projects which will be put together to create a sweetshop exhibition. They will be made from cardboard and mudrock, then painted.

Wednesday 1 November
Cynotype printing using found objects

Children will be shown how to print simple cyanotypes using found objects.

Wednesday 8 November
Cyanotype printing with self portraits

Make cyanotype self portraits. Take photographic portraits and turn them into negatives using vegetable oil. These will then be turned into cyanotypes.

Wednesday 15 November
Leather making workshop

We will be making handmade, drawstring purse from pre-cut patterns. We will be sewing pieces of leather together, thread thong and adding poppers.

Wednesday 22 November
Monoprinted self portraits

Experiment with monoprinting mark making, followed by self portraits. Photographs will be taken of each child and used to make monoprints.

Wednesday 29 November
Musical instrument making from recycled materials

We will make rainsticks from cardboard tubes and dowling which we will paint.

Wednesday 6 December

An image of the Pettmans will be cut into equal parts and given to each child to recreate; colour in/ add things to, using drawing materials. The images will be reassembled into a whole and displayed.

Wednesday 13 December
Christmas workshop

Christmas themed decorations.