Artist brings Diwali festival to life for pupils

Pupils enjoy making decorations for Diwali at East Boldon Junior School.
Pupils enjoy making decorations for Diwali at East Boldon Junior School.
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An award-winning artist has helped bring a traditional Hindu festival to life for South Tyneside pupils.

Ranbir Kaur, from Birmingham, has visited schools in the borough to deliver a range of workshops as part of a community arts project to celebrate Diwali.

They learned so much about the culture. The children absolutely loved it.

Katherine Smith, class teacher

During her time at East Boldon Junior School, in North Lane, pupils from Year 3 were invited to create a tile using Bengali-style artwork.

They were also able to try out their dancing skills in a Bollywood workshop.

The sessions were made possible with the help of Sangini, a women’s charity based in South Shields, who joined forces with ArtsConnect to raise awareness of Diwali (meaning the row of light).

Class teacher Katherine Smith said: “The children absolutely loved taking part in the workshops, particularly creating the Bengali-themed tiles.

“They learned so much about the culture and were able to use their own creative skills to produce designs which were then transferred onto a tile.

“They also enjoyed taking part in the Bollywood workshop.”

Other schools visited include Sea View Primary School and Bamburgh School, both South Shields.

The workshops took place ahead of the opening of an exhibition which showcases what an Indian home would look like during the Diwali festival.

The aim is to provide an insight into some of the sights and senses of Diwali celebrations.

A large Rangoli installation– the art of decorating the floor with colourful sand, flowers, coloured rice or lentils – will be presented along with personal objects, crafts and textiles produced by international artist Ranbir Kaur.

The opening of the exhibition My Diwali Home takes place tomorrow at 6.30pm at the Makaan art Gallery based in Talbot Road, South Shields, and will be launched by the Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Richard Porthouse.

The project is supported through a grant from Port of Tyne Action Fund through the Community Foundation, the Arts Council of England and Sherburn Trust.