Autumn Adventure

From Istanbul to Athens
It was just lovely to be back on board "Discovery" for a whole three weeks preparing and delivering the ambitious art project for Voyages of Discovery'sSchools Cruise. This would normally have taken us to Egypt, with all the exciting subject material offered by the likes of Tutankhamun and Rameses 11, but with recent troubles the country was off limits and I found myself faced with the challenge of what to do with 360 children who came straight from the plane to a ship without having seen a single thing! In the event, I decided, not unsurprisingly, that the [i)SHIP would have to be the star... As the students boarded at Bodrum on the the most glorious autumn evening, the ship was "dressed overall" to welcome them - that is, festooned with ship's signal flags from bow to stern....a colourful and festive sight complimented by the sleek white hull of "Discovery" reflecting the gold of the setting sun. Who could not fail to be inspired?
This would be my theme - ship's signal flags... that the students would recreate in collage and use to make their own coded messages..... In the event I managed to engage at least 60 students in creating a fabulous display that wasn't just colourful, but which rewarded those who were prepared to spend a short while to decipher the code and read the embedded messages - all clean, of course! I knew that even without messages it would be impressive...but I was thrilled to count more than 20 by the end. As an additional bonus, I worked with my colleague John Brinkley, to add beneath it a a tsunami of personal photos, which we built up to full force as the cruise progressed. It was a delight to see whole gaggles of students regularly coming to find snaps of each other and vying with each other to hand in their own offerings. From the outset,it was my aim to ensure that everyone was included, artistic or not, in this all-too-brief but wholly memorable and worthwhile project. The finished project measured 45 x 9 feet ...the photo really doesn't do it justice!