An interview with artist Lorna Rose

This post features a video interview with artist Lorna Rose. She talks about her approach to creative learning, like the importance of flexibility, multiculturalism, and inclusivity in education. 

We live in a world of great cultural, social, and political diversity. As the great art educator Maxine Greene said, the arts play an integral role in the growth of social cohesion by encouraging children to empathize with others from different background.

This week I spent two days at the Lillian de Lissa Children’s Centre & Nursery in Birmingham (UK) working alongside their artist-in-residence, Lorna Rose. 90% of the children attending the nursery are from an ethnic minority, over half speak English as a second language. Of the 90 children in attendance, 28 languages are spoken! The nursery’s vision is for children to leave the center with a sense of curiosity about the world.

Lorna Rose has been working as the artist-in-residence at the centre for over 10 years. This post features an interview with her in which she discusses her approach towards designing creative experiences for children – one that is built on child-centered practice, flexibility, and collaboration.

Lorna tells us about her background… 

“Some people know exactly what they are going to be in life. I can’t work out if I even had a goal or I just fell into this career path. I have always been creative and thanks to my family I have always been able to explore this in whatever way I pleased… as long as it was cheap! Although I enjoyed school I found it really difficult. Being dyslexic and headstrong, the teachers could rarely tell me what I wanted to know in a way that I understood. Luckily there were some significant role models along the way who gave me enough insight to start guiding my energies in a direction I am now completely passionate about.

I have worked as a freelance creative facilitator and artist-in-residence for over 15 years. Throughout this time, I have gained vast experience working with children amongst diverse teams. I have worked as both an artist and educator in Birmingham, Italy and across the globe.

Whilst I am interested in reading books and attending professional development events to improve my practice, one of my biggest inspirations has come from connecting with fellow artists and educators online through platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Much of my inspiration also comes from my everyday practices with children and adventures in life.

My passion lies in using creativity to provide meaning, worth, understanding and purpose. By this I mean the arts, but also creativity that is inclusive of investigation and problem-solving in social, educational and community environments. I have a strong ethical compass that orientates my thinking – we need to have respect and regard for the people and environments we live in. I am passionate about the power of creative learning and how this can support children’s personal growth. Creativity can make people and environments better.”

Further Links

Lorna’s website features some lovely documentation and background information on her practice. Check it out here.

Lorna aco-authored a book chapter with Pat Thomson titled ‘When only the visual will do.’ You can find it in the book ‘Researching creative learning: Methods and issues’

Lorna and Pat have another article that looks at ‘Creative learning in an inner-city primary school’ in the book  ‘Changing Schools – Alternative ways to make a world of difference.’

If you would like to read more about children’s creative learning in different educational settings, check out other related posts on Art Play Children Learning here.

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