Monday, 16 June 2014

Burton Primary become Art Superheroes!

Burton Stather Primary year ones returned to 20-21 last week, to prove that they are, indeed, Art Superheroes! Two visits in one year? That's enough qualification for us to strongly believe that this school really value the arts, and their children were very excited to design and make their Art Superhero capes, in honour of that!

The day started with some art challenges for the whole group. How quickly can we all become artists? How many pieces of work can we create in one minute? How many objects can we find in our classmates' squiggle drawings?

The answers? We all became artists in a matter for two minutes. We created three pieces of artwork each and we found numerous objects in our squiggles - including a Smurf's hat!

We stuck a load of our quick-fire drawings to the windows, to use as inspiration for creating shapes and pattern later in the day.

Once we had our art head's tightly screwed in place, we took a trip around the gallery, splitting into small groups to complete some worksheets created especially for the class.

Each child chose their favourite piece of artwork out of our current exhibitions; Alison Stockmarr's Face Book as seen above, in our Linear Gallery, with our Gallery Assistant.

George Hardy's Faces (above) were popular because of the sheer talent in using biro as a drawing tool.

And finally Alexis Rago's Chaos Contained which was the favourite of many of the pupils, for it's weird and wonderful sculptures.

The children worked really hard to answer the questions and recreate their findings in the form of a sketch, which encouraged them to think about shape, 3D object and size.

Here are two of our favourite recreations of Alexis' work:

In the Link Gallery, we spotted Miss Clarkson taking a gallery selfie with some of her pupils! This is something we greatly encourage during visits! Who doesn't love a gallery selfie?!

Back in the education room, it was time to get our designer heads on. We decided who we might be as Art Superheroes, using Paint Girl, Super Splodge and Clay Spray as examples. We discussed what the term "design" means and what a designer might do.

It was explained that designers start with what's called Initial Designs, so the children began there's, thinking of shapes and logos that might represent who they are as Art Superheroes. We drew a lot of paintbrushes, bubble writing and lumps of clay, like in Alexis' work.

The initial designs, were then perfected on a second drawing, using larger, simpler shapes. These were to cut out to use as stencils for our screen printing.

Burton's year ones got to use some of 20-21's specialist equipment; our silk screens! The pupils learned what a silk screen was and what it might be used for. We used them to recreate our designs into Art Superhero capes, with our logos on the back!

Some designs worked better than others, as unfortunately, some children got a little carried away with the clean up, resulting in some of the papers being thrown in the bin. However, we think they look really abstract and unusual.

The paintbrushes look really striking!

And the lines came out crisp, framing the designs really nicely.

All in all, everyone seemed to have a great day, giving us more evidence that Art Superheroes is still one of our most popular workshops to book. Get in touch with ways we can drop in your class topic, and prove that your school are Art Superheroes, too!
For more information, contact us on 01724 297070 or email

Friday, 6 June 2014

Crowle Primary's Seaside Shenanigans!

We've spent two days with 102 of Crowle Primary's finest pupils creating stories through shadow puppetry.
Reception, Year One and Year Two have all studied the seaside as their classroom topic and asked us to come along to join in the fun.
We decided to use shadow puppetry as a means to telling seaside tales and to embed further learning through creative activity and play.

Every pupil got the chance to make their very own moving shadow puppet. Because of the theme of the play, we each made a beautiful tortoise. The reception pupils named theirs and thought of the sort of jobs and hobbies they might have. This brought about some interesting ideas on what sort of jobs a tortoise was capable of under the sea!

Some of the girls had Princess tortoises, and ballerina ones, while the boys opted for professional runner tortoises and firemen. What a great way of getting children to think about characters in story telling!

Some of the classrooms had already had a practise with shadow and light and had made their own silhouettes, which we were very impressed with!

Once every child had finished their tortoise, we went on to work as one large production team, to create sets, props and further characters. All of these were made using black card on long rods, so make sure our puppeteer skills were effective.

Our Education Officer wrote a short story about the seaside for everyone to recreate using the props and puppets. Here is what we recreated:

Crowle Primary's Seaside Shenanigans

The Davidsons took a holiday last summer. They decided to go to the seaside. (Cue seagull noises expertly perfected by the pupils). Once at the beach, they changed into the swimming costumes and used their bucket and spade to make sandcastles.
When they'd filled the beach with sandcastles, they decided to go for a swim. But what would they find in the dark depths of Skegness beach? (Cue pantomime "oooos" from the audience).
The Davidsons found many interesting creatures. They swam passed a school of fish. 
They passed a group of crabs. 
They swam passed a beautiful tortoise that smiled and waved! 
Then, around the corner of some unusual coral, danger strikes! The Skegness SHARK! (Cue a well rehearsed Eastender's style "dum dum duuuum!")
The Davidsons swam for their lives before the shark could spot them!
Thank goodness they made it out of the waters! The Davidsons had to have fish and chips to calm their nerves! 
They were safe and sound and full of yummy seaside food! 

All of the children thoroughly enjoyed the day and some of the teachers got really involved, too!
Shadow puppetry is our most popular workshop, as we can embed any classroom topic, alongside science, literacy, craft and drama skills.

Here's what some of the children thought of their time with us in their school:

"I lovd it because  it was the best day of my life!" - Billy Year Two
"It was amazin" - Taylor Year Two
"I liket it wen the Sharck came. But they cudof been less noiseeer". - Jack Year Two
"It was the best show in the hole wide wold!" - Sammy-Jo Year Two

If you'd like to know more about how to book a workshop or what else we have on offer, please don't hesitate to get in touch: 01724 297070 or email