This year, starting with the Our City Festival in March, York Learning asked our visual arts learners and anyone else who was interested in crafts to make us a bird.
There were a few rules: birds should look like they’re flying, should be lightweight, and should, where possible, be made from recycled materials or scraps. The birds didn’t need to belong to a particular (or any) species. The ‘sky’ was made from scrap plastic sheeting and rubble bags.
What you see on display in York Explore this summer is the tremendous response to our call, and approximately 550 birds!
Many of the people who contributed were simply individuals who’d heard of the project through our newsletter and social media channels.
However, we have to say a particular thank you to the following groups, many of whom have taken part in a community art project for the first time.

Arts for Wellbeing & Sketchbook Circle Groups – York Art Gallery
CFO Activity Hub Participants
Copmanthorpe Primary School
Creative Crafts – NHS
Creative Crafts – York Carers
Derwenthorpe Crafts Group
Door 84
Foss Park Acute Mental Health Hospital
Fulford and Burnholme Libraries
Hull Road Park Crafts Group
New Earswick Primary School
Residents of Amitola Care Homes
Routes2Success Foundation Learning Participants
St Barnabas C of E Primary School
St Nicks Eco Therapy Group
York Hospital Renal Ward

A section of the 'Flight' exhibition
A section of the 'Flight' exhibition
A section of the 'Flight' exhibition
A participant from the workshop at the Our City festival grins as she holds her creation - a painted 3D bird made from corrugated cardboard.
A blackbird and an orange bird made from painted cardboard