Underground Pearl works with schools and other service providers to introduce, encourage and further develop creative thinking skills.



Sounding Art

May- June 2015
Schools in East Kent

Underground Pearl collaborated with musician Russ Callaghan Grooms, visiting primary schools in East Kent to practically look at the interrelationship between sound and art, art and sound. Children developed new pieces of artwork and new compositions.

In the workshops we used music, colour, mark making, performance and collaboration to excite and encourage pupils to have an expanded perspective on the effects of music and explore how they could use music in their lives and turn it into sculpture. Russ worked with the pupils to turn words into music, whilst we worked with pupils to produce a performance where they turned music into a painting. Pupils discovered new ways of experiencing and listening to music in relation to mark making by sketching sound.

Two schools participated in Arts Award Discover and 75 pupils achieved certificates.


Deal Festival Underground Pearl workshops



Waste Week

March 2015
Sandown School, Deal, Kent

For waste week, Underground Pearl worked with Year 5 pupils at Sandown School to make boats out of recycling waste. Pupils used tape, elastic bands, staples, string, paperclips and glue to cobble together an array of original floating vessels.

The boats were then collected and placed on a hand drawn chalk river in the school courtyard entrance to create a flotilla.



Winch Box CT9

August 2014
Quarterdeck Youth Centre, Cliftonville, Margate, Kent

This project was commissioned by Restort Studios in partnership with youth engagement specialist Stephen Fenning of Fixers, an organisation that enables young people to use their past to fix the future.

Over a series of 10 workshopd we worked with a group of young people to build a Winch Box, or story box, to house audio recordings of their words. Working in collaboration with spoken word poet Emrys Plant the young people wrote lyrical poems describing their experiences. As part of the project we attended a performance by the poet Lemn Sissay, opening up new possibilities of poetic expression. The group assisted construct and paint the sculpture.

UNderground Pearl Quarterdeck workshop



Nautical Threads

March & April 2014
Schools across Dover and Deal

Commissioned by Dover Arts Development as part of Kent Schools INSPIRE Olympic Legacy Programme we worked with children in 9 schools across Dover and Deal in preparation for and to give meaningful context to a participatory street theatre event, 'The Search and Rescue of Lady Lovibond', in Dover Harbour. The workshops combined literacy and art where the students wrote and performed nonsense sea poems using fishing vocabulary that would work to magically raise the sunken ship and rescue her crew.

The pupils then worked collaboratively to produce large artworks on paper that concentrated on using text not only as image but also in combination with drawing. Text was treated as a component of the image, challenging preconceived limitations of how text should operate. As well as teaching literacy and art skills it also encouraged a sense of shared ownership through collaborative effort.

At one school, a child whose teacher said usually sits at the back of the class and does nothing was awarded with his first ever commendation certificate for his performance.

Sandown School Workshop Underground Pearl
school workshop UNderground Pearl



Ship Shape

February 2014
LV21 - Gillingham Pier - Chatham

In partnership with artist Wendy Daws and Kent Autistic Trust, Underground Pearl worked with adults with autism to widen their horizons and challenge any preconceived barriers to experience. As well as drawing we worked with glow sticks and balloons to create installation sculptures and live art statues. We went on sensory walks through the ship and afterwards used projections to record the journey and create large wall drawings.

living light sculpture



Underwater Sea Forest

January 2014
LV21 - Gillingham Pier - Chatham

As part of the INSPIRE Olympic Legacy Programme, Underground Pearl was invited to lead one of four 'Big Arts Day' workshops held on LV21. Working with 200 children from schools across Kent to help young arts leaders develop their understanding of leadership and share an exciting, inspiring arts experience with other young arts leaders from the district, artists Loren Beven and Katryn Saqui, assisted by UCA foundation student volunteer Wendy Bagley, expanded on Underwater Sea Forest, a magical illuminated installation in the Chain Locker of the ship.

INSPIRE is primarily funded by the Kent Schools’ Funding Forum, with significant partnership funding on arts elements from Arts Council England, via the Royal Opera House Bridge and Artswork Bridge.

  Underground Pearl Balloon Installation
LV21 workshop UNderground Pearl