Masks keep children happy
EVERY parent's dream – children with heads down, full of enthusiasm and eyes fixed concentrated on the task in hand.Acclaimed artist Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy who painted a Jubilee portrait of The Queen enthralled and inspired youngsters at a mask making workshop as part of nationally celebrated Black History Month.
EVERY parent's dream – children with heads down, full of enthusiasm and eyes fixed concentrated on the task in hand.
Acclaimed artist Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy who painted a Jubilee portrait of The Queen enthralled and inspired youngsters at a mask making workshop as part of nationally celebrated Black History Month.
Chinwe, who lives near Wickham Market, began the workshop by talking about the Masquerade tradition in Nigeria before helping the children create masks of their own.
The five-hour workshop at Ipswich Museum in the High Street was open to children aged eight to 12 years, although younger ones also came along to enjoy the day.
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Chinwe – who became the first black artist even to paint a portrait of the Queen – was delighted to get involved in Suffolk's third annual Black History Month, which promotes cultural diversity and shows that the differences should be celebrated and shared.
"If people understand the culture of others and see what they grew up with, it makes it easier for them to communicate with people," she said.
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The children worked with natural products – coconuts and raffia (natural fibre) to make their imaginative creations. To add atmosphere Chinwe played Igbo music from Nigeria.
Among those taking part included six-year-old David Bumstead, Freehold Road, Ipswich who said:
"I was very interested in mask making and to learn about different cultures which I think is very important."
Black History Month is organised by the Nia Project and runs throughout October with a host of events including a cookery course, films, sports roadshow, exhibitions and storytelling.