MILK bottles have been turned into colourful creatures to symbolise regeneration and rebirth.
The Joy of Light upcycled lantern project is being run by Roy Kelf, thanks to a small arts grant from the Adur and Worthing Trust.
He has been working in collaboration with Inclusive Arts 4 All at Heene Gallery in Worthing, preparing for the Tide of Light lantern parade as part of the Lions’ fireworks celebrations in November.
Mr Kelf explained: “The project is artist led and focuses on the theme of regeneration and metamorphosis, inspired by mythical creatures and symbolic imagery.
“I wanted a unique group that was inclusive for the project, including retired people, those with a physical disability, learning disability, visual impairment, hearing impairment, mental health problems and a couple of local artists who needed to challenge their skills and move out of their comfort zone.”
Having exhibited at the Heene Road gallery for Worthing Art Trail last year, he met the Mixed Media Art Group, an open group of mixed abilities, which he said was ideal for the project.
“Some of them linked regeneration to Dr Who, so they made Daleks,” said Mr Kelf. “Others include a dove, the symbol of hope, and butterflies to signify metamorphosis.
“The first week we did drawing exercises to understand basic shapes and identify what to make. Then the problem was solving turning a 2D picture into a 3D model.”
Brought up in Norfolk, Mr Kelf moved to Worthing 15 years ago. His background includes working in day services as an art instructor with adults with learning disabilities.
On Saturday, the group was seen putting the final touches to their lanterns as part of this year’s Worthing Art Trail, including lighting them up with fairy lights.
Mr Kelf said: “On a dark day, they glow and the plastic really brings out the colours. The group will now be able to join the Tide of Light parade, which is in its third year.”
The lanterns will also be on display at Heene Gallery on Saturday and Sunday, and at Worthing Library from August 1 to 15. There will be a free owl lantern workshop on Saturday, 1pm to 3pm.
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