Last Friday I had the most amazing day out at Gotham Primary school in Nottinghamshire celebrating the end of their Art Week with them.
They had spent their week focussing all their creative energies into making their own art based on images of my art. During the week a few classes at a time had been into Loughborough on a bus trip to see my exhibition at the Sock Gallery/Town Hall and they had sketched and looked at my paintings and come up with their own creative ideas.
Then their week of work culminated on Friday with a visit from a real-life artist (me!) and an exhibition of their beautiful and clever work for their families and community to enjoy in the school hall.
What a super bunch of kids and what a lovely staff team – Gotham was a delightful school to visit and I was made to feel very welcome all day.
The children are a real credit to their families and teachers and the staff are hard-working and enthusiastic – SO full of creative ideas I could never have guessed at the range of art activities that they had generated from seeing my work.
There was a wealth of 2D and 3D button inspired work including clay buttons, button letters, button teacup and button trees (one of which I got to bring home which I was really pleased to have.)
Flowers and nature had sparked many ideas for paintings, pastels, drawing, sewing and 3D bugs and butterflies.
My teacups, cakes and biscuit paintings inspired the children and teachers to draw, paint, make teacups and plates and paint them with patterns and even have a tea party.
They had looked at my pattern design work on the website too and explored making their own patterns.
Every class participated in Art Week beginning in Playgroup and going right through to year six who were painting flowers from samples of my work ready to cut and collage onto music sheets.
It was so exciting to see teachers investing time and enthusiasm into practising and exploring art (brilliantly led by their Art Co-ordinator) and the results are fantastic as the ability of the children is plain to see – a school of future creatives me thinks!
During the day I visited each class in turn to see what they were working on and answer any questions they might have – and they had some super questions ready to ask and some really hard to answer ones like ‘ Why do you like to paint?’ Kids have the knack of cutting to the heart of things too (‘Are you rich?’ ‘Are you famous?’ ‘Why don’t you paint people?’) but all asked with utter politeness and charm – I loved talking to them all.
After lunch was the exhibition – I was lost for words when I saw all their work collected up and displayed beautifully on patterned tablecloths and hung from a tree branch – it has to be the most creative use of gym equipment (other than a PE lesson) that I have ever see (well done Laura!)
The whole room was charming and beautifully done and the exhibition was really well supported by lots of visitors (I’m afraid all my photos at this point were blurred but there are some here to give you an idea.)
We even had our photo taken for the local paper.
All in all it was a very special day for me – it’s so easy to sit at home alone and create things to show the world and quite a different experience to see the world actually looking at them and finding inspiration in them.
Thank you everyone at Gotham Primary for having me for the day and ‘doing Art Week on the artist Claire Leggett’ – very humbling and a special day that I will remember for ever.