Graffiti was an area which was highlighted by the Cadets for their first taster workshop.

A brief discussion with the group before the workshop highlighted a nervousness about making something in front of their peers. The Wednesday night sessions are not about the arts but how to become a Police officer, and, for some, the shift in emphasis placed them out of their comfort zone. Nonetheless, the cadets all fully engaged and created some memorable pieces of work.

They worked with local artist James Mayall and they used riot gear to develop their designs upon which worked effectively. James worked well with the group encouraging creativity and new ideas.

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Below is feedback from two Cadets from their Arts Award portfolios about the session:

Feedback 1

We did the graffiti workshop on the 23rd of April 2013, at the council building in Boston. We were there for about 2 hours in which we learnt how to use the spray paint, make a design, and finally create our piece. We put our designs onto riot gear, like shields and helmets.

James Mayle ran the workshop; a picture of his work is at the bottom left. He runs the creative studio imageskool with his wife; they work with the community on special projects, and run workshops for schools as well as groups.

There wasn’t really a theme to the workshop except to come up with an idea, which made the riot gear look cool and fun.

We started off by talking in our groups, and throwing a couple of ideas around. We eventually came up with a plan to make the shields graphics line up with the person holding it. There were a couple of ideas like an alien, someone in boxer shorts and a robot. In the end we all decided on a skeleton, because we thought this would be easier to do than some of our other ideas.

We worked as a team very well; we all contributed and helped out in the final piece. I don’t think we could have worked better; we all got on and didn’t disagree on anything.

We learned how spray the paint properly, by constantly moving the can, rather than just holding it in one place. Also to test it on a piece of cloth or card before we sprayed. This made sure the paint was the consistently that we wanted it.

The only equipment we used was various spray cans and an easel. The easel held up the object we was spraying so we didn’t get paint everywhere. The spray cans were surprisingly easy to use; they just required a shake before spraying.

I learnt how to work better as a team, as well as design skills. I think it improved my patience, and hand to eye co-ordination.

Our finished piece can be seen at the bottom right of this page. In the end we decided it looked a bit plain, so we added a bleeding heart behind the rib cage. I thought this added a sense of mystery to our shield.

I was extremely happy with our final piece, because it expressed us as a team. I think that it symbolises that we will always try to help each other no matter what. I also think the heart shows our friendship.

If we were to do it again I definitely wouldn’t change who was in our group, because we all got on so well. I would like to have done it on something different, for example the helmet. I think there is a lot of interesting things you could have done with that.

The graffiti workshop inspired me to do this, the arts award. I’ve also started drawing on the computer which I’m really enjoying, and would like to do more of.

Thank you for reading.

Feedback 2

On the cadet evening when we took part in this activity my group decided to go with the theme of zombie horror/science fiction; I think that we managed to achieve this effect because the main colour (green) was a really good background for colours such as red, I think that this coincided with the zombie theme as it helped to represent blood, pink was used to represent the flesh of the zombie. On the head piece I worked on making it look like the skull had been split in half and I think that I managed to achieve this by spraying pink on the helmet in certain places (to represent the brain), I think that this looked realistic and very effective in achieving the zombie theme. My group all agreed that we needed to come up with a completely different idea to any other group, I think that we definitely did this as no other group went for a horror theme.

I think that this project was a success as the group all agreed on a theme, and how we would achieve this, I think that the colours we used on the body armour looks effective and realistic.

The completed riot gear, helmets and shields were displayed in the Boston Stump in August at the Police Cadet 25th Anniversary event.

“It was a great opportunity to find an alternative role for the standard police issue public disorder protective equipment, which involved constructive thought and fun, as opposed to destructive action. It was great fun and I have no doubt that when all the decorated items are put on public display at various functions, they will prove to be a topic for discussion. The project also helped to address some popular misconceptions in a positive and interactive manner aimed at young people. It was their idea which they worked with and developed, not some idea imposed upon them".

- PC Martyn Chamber – Police Cadet Liaison Officer