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Art Lab 2015: A-Z of Values

Newport Primary School, Dawlish Primary Schools, A Space and Iniva developed a collaborative art making project exploring what values mean, how they are created, who has them and why they are important. This project responds to the 2014 Department of Education imperative for all schools to promote fundamental British values. The project was led by artist Shiraz Bayjoo, curator Teresa Cisneros and A Space family therapist Camilla Waldburg, using the Iniva Creative Learning publications ‘How do we live well with others? & A-Z of Emotions

Art Lab 2015: A-Z of Values
Art Lab 2015: A-Z of Values

A-Z of Values artworks by students & Shiraz Bayjoo. Displayed at Leyton Library.

About the project


Over the summer term 2015, students at Newport and Dawlish Primary Schools in Leyton explored the subject of values with artist Shiraz Bayjoo. Working with A Space and Teresa Cisneros of Agency for Agency a programme of activity, research and art making was created to provide students with an opportunity to explore what values mean, how they are created, who has them and why they are important.

The A-Z of Values project came out of the need to explore values with children as the National Curriculum is now requiring all students in Britain to learn 4 core values which address, liberty, tolerance, democracy and respect for law.  Many Year 4 students find it a challenge to relate these abstract concepts to real life. Working with the artist and various guest professionals, students were given the space to have a conversation about values and to create their own works.  Ten students were also selected as Art Leaders to work more intensely with the artist.  The work displayed is informed by their pieces which were created through research and collaborative thinking.

Workshop Programme


All year 4 students had conversations about values and how to express different values in a visual format by working with artist Shiraz Bayjoo. Bayjoo’s personal art explores questions around identity, displacement, politics and being a Londoner whilst having family in Maurituius. His art works with watercolours, film and installations inspired the students to create their own pieces. Bayjoo co-created a set of final artworks with students using their images and ideas as the starting point.

About the artist


Shiraz Bayjoo (b. 1980, Mauritius) is a London-based artist currently working in the Indian Ocean region, whose practice spans painting, photography, and video. Bayjoo explores the territory between abstraction and images of a metaphorical nature from cartographic, mythic and religious traditions. Using multiple layers of translucent patterns and marks, a loose abstract landscape is presented. Images are broken down and re-explored, offering to the viewer compositions that are often culturally or politically emotive, subtle and removed from their literal context. The video works push further the idea of shared identity and experience.

“Looking into the narrative of disappearing identities, I look away from my own cultural heritage, finding common ground with lesser-known realities” 

Originally from Mauritius, Bayjoo studied at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. Bayjoo was artist in residence at Whitechapel Gallery during 2011. In the two past years he has exhibited with Tate Britain and the Institute for International Visual Arts (Iniva) in Shoreditch.

Shiraz lives and works in London and Mauritius.

Our A-Z OF VALUES RESOURCE PACKS provide teachers, educators,  multi-disciplinary practitioners and therapists with ideas on how to creatively explore the subject of values as well as a full list of values and their meanings.   The A-Z OF VALUES series includes RESOURCE 1: A full introduction to the theme and discussion prompts  + a  comprehensive list of values and a description of each.  RESOURCE 2: Artist-led exercises. RESOURCE 3: 32 worksheets featuring written/ verbal  exercises + optional art tasks. RESOURCE 4: 32 worksheets offering  multiple choice exercises + optional art tasks.   All these resources can be adapted to reflect different themes, ages or abilities and can be used in the classroom or workshop setting, in verbal therapy sessions as a starting point for conversations or to inspire art or drama therapy exercises. They are available to download for free from this website.

To commission an ArtLab project with Iniva Creative Learning contact us: info@inivacreativelearning.org

Written by Jenny Starr