Can you help Mo tell the story of SSI steelworks?
WHEN Redcar’s SSI steelworks closed art teacher Mo Coade knew it would impact her pupils.
Her fears were confirmed when she asked her class of youngsters if they were directly affected and almost half revealed they were.
Now she is looking to tell the stories of those involved in a new exhibition – and she is seeking volunteers to take part.
Mo, who is head of art at Rye Hills Academy, Redcar, and an artist in her own right, is looking for models for her show which is based on the people affected by the closure of Redcar’s SSI steelworks.
A specialist in photography, Mo said she wants to meet anyone whose life was affected, whether they be former SSI employees, family members or impacted in some other way.
She said: “In October, I’m going to be doing an exhibition at Kirkleatham with Graham Anderson – I’m taking the wall space.
“When SSI closed I asked my class of 23 for a show of hands – and 10 of them had been directly affected, whether it was a dad, or a grandad or someone else.
“I want to interview those people, take their photograph and use them in the exhibition. If anybody is interested, please give me a call.”
Ahead of the exhibition, though, Mo helped celebrate her students’ work at the Rye Hills end of year GCSE art exhibition, together with print specialist Lucy Williamson and textile and fashion specialist Kelly Hewitson.
She said: “This is a mixture of GCSE fine art, photography and art and design.
“It’s all child-centred – we let them lead the learning and, as a result, no two pieces are the same.”
The freedom of direction was on full display with works ranging from coloured screen prints and painted portraits of hijab-clad women to a pencil-drawn cross-hatched illustration of an animal skull. Mo, who has previously exhibited her work at The Baltic in Gateshead, said: “We encourage the children to express issues that matter to them. Issues like mental health – we use the work to help them express it.”
If you were affected by the SSI closure and are interested in becoming a model, call Mo on 07740 358888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rye Hills Academy art teacher Mo Coade is seeking volunteers for her exhibition