Bedminster Lantern Parade 2017 : workshops with the children

Bordeaux & French themes for the Parade 2017

The Bristol Bordeaux Partnership would like to thank Quartet for their generous support towards the Bordeaux/French elements of the 2017 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade (BWLP). Thank you to the whole BWLP committee and in particular chair Malcolm Brammar and schools artist Alan May. It was Alan’s creative genius and enthusiasm for Bordeaux and its artists which inspired the children to produce hundreds of amazing lanterns including the six giant ones which wowed the crowds lining the streets of Bedminster.


Southville Primary created Matisse themed lanterns. Over 60 children contributed to the making of 4 large white dove silhouette lanterns, based on the later works of the French painter Matisse, featuring white doves on a blue background. 60 individual lanterns were also created by all the children using paper cut-out techniques.


Ashton Gate Primary worked on their Urban Art lantern inspired by Bordeaux artist Lady JDay who took part in the 2017 UPFest.  The children used new spray paint techniques to create backgrounds for their individual lanterns (90 in total). LadyJDay’s artwork which Alan May asked her to produce on acetate paper during UPFest, was used imaginatively to create a 3m high spray can lantern which the children loved carrying in the parade.The 90 pupils researched local street art and were inspired by a number of artworks featuring the human eye – these would be the central theme for the design of the 90 small lanterns. With the assistance of a local stencil artist, Stewy, they were able using spray paint techniques to create the backgrounds for their lanterns. The giant spray can lantern sprayed out the illuminated letters of the school !


Victoria Park Primary chose a Bordeaux Cubism theme and constructed a 3m high Bordeaux gate, L’Hote cubist-style, based on one of the main medieval archway entrances to the city. The children were stimulated by a more modernist approach. They decided to use Cubist techniques to create portraits on 90 small lanterns. They had an idea to create a 3D chateau, also using Cubist techniques  and research led them to an image of Bordeaux’ Porte Cailhau in the Quartier Saint Pierre, which was then redesigned. One of the conical roofs was replaced by a wine bottle and windows and gates became eyes and mouths. They also used messages and words celebrating the Bristol/Bordeaux link.
An accordionist accompanied them on the parade adding an extra French cultural element. The children made 90 individual Cubist portrait lanterns with messages in French.


BWLP Director Malcolm Brammar said : “This year’s Parade was the longest in BWL’s six year history, attracting more than 2,000 people to local streets. The now established Parade route is closed to traffic for the safety of participants and spectators alike and is south Bristol’s largest community event of the year.  It was great that we were able to introduce exciting and stimulating Bordeaux and French elements this year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our oldest twinning