28-31 August 2014

Tower of London Launch for the BIG Art & Storytelling Tall Ships Project

The BIG Art & Storytelling Tall Ships Project has been given a celebrity endorsement at the Tower of London at a special event held by Historic Royal Palaces and Kids in Museums. The event brought together VIPs from all over the UK to celebrate putting children first in education, art, galleries and museums.

The BIG Art & Storytelling Tall Ships Project has been created to be the artistic celebration of the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta. This special Arts Council England and FEAST in Cornwall supported project seeks to engage children in art and creative writing, 

Dea Birkett the director of Kids in museums, Damian Dibben the internationally best-selling children’s author, John Dyer the artist in residence for the Tall Ships Regatta and the BBC’s Philip Mould OBE came together at this special event to support the BIG Art & Storytelling Tall Ships Project.

“The BIG Art & Storytelling Tall Ships Project is charismatic. John Dyer’s new Tall Ships painting, combined with professional storytelling, creates an irresistible hub for creativity to flourish.” Philip Mould OBE.

A picture is telling thousands of words as children across the country get creative interpreting an oil-based celebration of one of this year’s great world Maritime events – the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta, which starts in Falmouth 28th to 31st August before racing to the Isle of Wight and arriving in Greenwich 5th to 9th September.
Artist in residence for the Regatta, John Dyer, has unveiled his fireworks and fiesta painting, based on memories of the last Falmouth Tall Ships Festival in 2008, which, with the help of story-tellers, performers, a playwright and a hip-hop poet, is getting youngsters deeply immersed in their own paint and salty tales.

Sam Groom, Event Manager, Cornwall Development Company explains, “We are so pleased to be working with John Dyer again and we are grateful for his support.  His enthusiasm and creative flair have added enormously to the event in previous years, attracting great interest from both the media and the public. To be able to use John’s Tall Ships painting on the front cover of the official programme makes it a wonderful souvenir.”
Damian Dibben, creator of the world famous “The History Keepers” time-travel series is one of the professional writers for the BIG Art & Storytelling Tall Ships Project says, “This is a brilliant, original competition. John Dyer’s picture is bursting with character, life and colour – I can’t wait to see what stories it inspires: pictures, stories, poems, anything.”
John and the creative team are working closely with Festival organisers in Falmouth led by Cornwall Development Company’s Visit Cornwall Team and with Royal Greenwich. Dea Birkett, of the national initiative ‘Kids in Museums’,  is helping to roll out the BIG Art and Storytelling Tall Ships Project across the country, Dea describes John’s painting and the project as, “…entirely entrancing, engrossing. It opens up new worlds.”
“This whole project is a huge creative stimulus for children,” says the project’s creative producer John Frankland. “The writers had all seen the painting in advance – James Graham, the National Theatre playwright, has written the first scene of a play and asks children to write scene two; Maxwell Golden has written a hip hop poem; Damian Dibben and Paul Farmer have written engrossing stories, it’s all about firing young imaginations to express themselves in pictures and words.”
John Dyer’s painting, reflects the excitement and atmosphere of the Regatta, with entertainment and activities happening throughout the town. The competition closes on 1st August with the 24 top prize winners, another 200 top art entries and a selection of the different types of writing going on display at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and the Greenwich Heritage Centre during the Tall Ships Regatta.
“You quite often hear of a work of literature inspiring a piece of art but not so often the other way around,” says John Dyer. “I believe everybody is born highly creative and artistic – it’s what helps us develop and learn – and it’s a real privilege to be encouraging artistic talents, working with children across the country in this special and magical event.”
Children and families can find out more online at: http://www.johndyergallery.co.uk/tallships  including a short film explaining the project. The project has already received over 100 paintings and some writing from children across the country. Now if you are under 16 it is your chance to shine.

Image –  left to right: Director of Kids in Museums Dea Birkett, Author Damian Dibben & Artist John Dyer pictured with Kids in Museums Chair and BBC Art Expert Philip Mould OBE encouraging children across the UK to get creative and to take part in The BIG Art & Storytelling Tall Ships Project. Pictured at the launch of Historic Royal Palaces’ ‘Tudors at the Tower’ family festival at the Tower of London. Photo: Richard Lea-Hair.