Armchair Gallery

How to run a creative workshop based on Lady Burlington

Artwork by Michael Craig-Martin, created in 2011

About this activity

Workshop themes

  • 1960s
  • Colour
  • Emotion
  • Pop Art


  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for one to one

Difficulty level




  • Name badges (for all participants and staff).
  • Coloured wool.


  • Sit in a circle or around a table facing one another.
  • Go around the room and make eye contact with everyone, shake their hand and say hello.
  • Use a coloured ball of wool. Each person then selects someone to throw the wool to. Each person will end up with a thread and will keep hold of it.
  • A colourful web is made that connects everyone in the group to each other. This is a good way to start the group with a non-verbal introduction.
  • The colours of wool can always be swopped in order to create different colours in your web.
  • The task can also be reversed at the end of the activity, rolling the ball of wool back up again.




  • Look at the artwork using the Armchair Gallery app.
  • Welcome and invite the person or group to create with you and write their answers on the flip chart. Ask open-ended questions (like in the list to the right).
  • Affirm/echo all their answers - together we build a story that can have sound, movement, words - even drawings.
  • Retell the story, then invite them to add another creative element like sound, or movement.

Suggested Questions

  • What’s going on in the picture?
  • What do you think they are thinking?
  • What are they looking at?
  • What colours can you see?
  • Why do you think the artist used these colours?
  • What does the colour red (for example) mean to you?
  • What are they wearing?
  • What do you think their name is?
  • What would you name this piece of art?
  • What happens next in this piece?

Play this video

Workshop members can watch this on their own tablet, or you can play it to the group by connecting your tablet to a TV or projector. It can also be downloaded from the Armchair Gallery website.

Interact with the artwork

At this point in the workshop participants should have a go at using the app to interact with the artwork. From the main menu, enter Chatsworth House, select Lady Burlington and tap Interact and play.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 1


  • Kaleidoscopes.
  • Laptop or iPad for and speakers for music.
  • Coloured balloons (an assortment of colours and sizes).
  • Smarties/Skittles.
  • Coloured cellophane (or alternatively – Quality Street wrappers).
  • Diffuser – bubblegum oils.


  • The portrait of Lady Burlington is in the Pop-Art style of the 1960’s – play a selection of music from the 1960’s!

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 2


  • Hand out a selection of brightly coloured Smarties/Skittles. Ask the group to order these into colour or make specific shapes with them. Participants can taste the sweets whilst they are arranging them or during the workshop.


  • Use brightly coloured balloons to support gentle movement and exercise into the activity.
  • People could select a particular coloured balloon to pass around and keep in the air. Maybe participants could work in pairs hitting the balloon to one another. Several different coloured balloons could be introduced to the group in order to keep them in the air all at once.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 3


  • Hand out printed copies of the picture of Lady Burlington. Look through the kaleidoscopes at the picture. This will change the overall appearance of the artwork.
  • The following questions could be asked: How does it look now? What shapes/colours can you see? Does this change the overall look of the artwork?
  • Use coloured cellophane (or Quality Street wrappers) and transform the room by adding various coloured shapes of cellophane on to the windows.
  • Pre-cut shapes could be prepared, or these could be personalised in response to the group. The coloured cellophane will transform the look of the room, bringing in lots of bright colours and to inspire creativity!


  • Using a diffuser, add a couple of drops of bubblegum scented incense. This will create a pop, sweet-scented room to work in!

Making: Face Collage


Ask/support each group member to show everyone their artwork if they are comfortable with that. Prompt comments and discussion with the group. Congratulate everyone on taking part in the session and completing their artwork. Display the completed artwork from all of the participants where people have a clear view of the outcomes.

Thank everyone for coming and being part of the session. End the session with a big round of applause and shake everyone’s hands.


Getting Materials

You should be able to get most of the materials mentioned in this guide at your local arts supplier.

They are also avaiable on Amazon. If you shop via Amazon Smile (using the button below - UK only), then we will recieve a donation that we can put towards our work with older people.

Other Apps

You could use these other apps to further explore digital technology in your workshop.