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MK Gallery celebrates outdoor learning with new exhibition

Green Town Group. Still from film by Miles Umney. 

Green Town Group. Still from film by Miles Umney. 

Green Town Group. Still from film by Miles Umney. 

This February, MK Gallery celebrates the outdoors with a free exhibition entitled The Art of Outdoor Learning in the Project Space. Curated by Wiltshire-based visual artist James Aldridge, the exhibition presents the journey of Green Town Group, an inspiring year-long programme of activity that saw James and the Gallery exploring green spaces with local school children and families.

On display will be artwork created by children and families involved in Green Town Group, alongside photographs, and a short film about the project. These will be presented within the wider context of James’ practice, and the national picture of primary art education and outdoor learning.

Supported by the Ernest Cook Trust, Green Town Group was the Gallery’s pilot programme of artist-led activity designed to test new approaches to outdoor learning. Four local schools participated in the project: St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, Bletchley; Holne Chase Primary School, Bletchley; Brooklands Farm Primary School and Pepper Hill School in Bradville.

James Aldridge was selected by MK Gallery in early 2016 for a year-long residency from an open call for artists. James works across the UK developing and facilitating socially engaged arts projects with a range of partners. His work combines sensory interaction - such as walking, collecting and making - with research into ecology and history. James has experience of heritage, arts and environmental organisations, and has worked with people ranging from pre-school children through to doctoral students.

Speaking of the exhibition, James said: "The residency has given me a chance to do something that I love – to share my passion for art and the outdoors with a vibrant group of children, teachers and families, responding to the here and now of bluebells and mud and our bodies. I’d like this exhibition to help people think about why this kind of work is important, and how we can make learning exciting and relevant for children, by using art to engage with the world outside of the classroom.”

The Art of Outdoor Learning runs from 3 - 26 February. Admission is free. An events programme accompanies the exhibition with Spring Half Term Workshops for ages 5+ and their families on 17 February and a Teachers Continued Professional Development session on 22 February. During February, the Gallery will also be taking part in Beat the Street, which is a fun, free game to get the Milton Keynes community outdoors.


Click here to find out more.



Ernest Cook Trust