Charity Seashell adds sparkle to Handforth Railway Station

Students from the Cheadle-Hulme based charity Seashell Trust installed some rather eye-catching art work this week at Handforth Railway Station.

The charity, who cares for and educates children and young people with complex learning difficulties and communication needs, prides itself on its inclusive art department which encourages students to learn through exploration and play.

The two art boxes were installed by the ‘Friends of Handforth Station’ - who have offered the art spaces to the trust for the summer with the intention to celebrate the wonderful art practice at the trust. The students have worked together to create ‘Geraldine’ the glitzy giraffe, decorated with shimmering mosaic pieces, in addition to four vibrant hanging sculptures, made using different textures and colours of clay. These sculptures were inspired by the work of artist Dale Chihuly: an American artist who uses blown glass to create colourful, other-worldly sculptures - reminiscent of coral and plant life. Seashell’s work looks just as tropical, each piece of clay has been rolled, twisted and decorated by the children and young people. Both the process of making the sculptures and the outcome have been greatly enjoyed by the students and staff!

The arts are valued highly at Seashell Trust as a form of expression. Touch, and tactile art is particularly important to those with limited vision who use their sense of touch to explore, communicate and make sense of the world. Many of the students with autism use touch as a calming strategy or to cancel out unpleasant sounds or lighting. The vivid colours make the work visually accessible to people who see different levels of colour.

Lauren Mullarkey, Seashell’s art teacher said:

“At Seashell we help the children develop confidence to be inquisitive about the world rather than having a passive experience. Some of our children may at first be frightened of touching art materials because they are unfamiliar, but we will support them to become curious, to explore, and to play: this is the most empowering way to approach any art form and it’s lots of fun.”

“We hope all those who see the art installations enjoy looking at them as much as our students enjoyed creating them.”

The art work will remain at the station until July, so do try to stop by to see the work. The students at Seashell are currently busy making new work for their second exhibition at the station. What will they create next? Watch this space...