In the village of Kemerton, near Tewkesbury, a community-wide art project took place to celebrate the shad! The founder of Kite Studios, and art studio specialising in pottery, painting and printmaking, was inspired by our project and decided to get the whole village involved. Read on to find out how this lockdown project lifted local spirits and brought the twaite shad right to the heart of Kemerton.
From May fish to clay fish
Back in 2020, Kite Studios were inspired by our project’s work to help restore the historic spawning grounds of the endangered fish, the twaite shad. At the same time, a local school was fundraising for a community food bank in Tewkesbury. They decided to combine the two through a new artistic project: raising money for the food bank, and raising awareness of the twaite shad!
Residents of Kemerton were invited to each mould and decorate a clay fish, to appear as part of a new art installation in the village hall. The story of the shad was shared around the village, and participants were encouraged to take inspiration from the shad in their design. All who participated made a donation to the Tewkesbury food bank via the school fundraiser.
Since we were still in the midst of lockdown, participants collected the clay from a box in the driveway and simply returned the fish they had made for collection. Kite Studios then fired each of the fish and, once permitted, asked volunteers to help glaze all the pieces.
The project had a brilliant turn out, with over 60 participants producing fish for the new artwork. Founder, Auriol, said: “We made this an opportunity to share the great work [Unlocking the Severn] is doing at the same time as inviting people in the village to get making clay fish.” The results of their artistic endeavours were installed in the recently refurbished village hall earlier this year.
Find out more about Kite Studios from their website.