Artist Mark Oliver worked with Nursery, Reception and Year 1 children at Hague Primary in the Spring term on a project all about food and mini-beasts. Mark led two short cut-paper illustration sessions with each of the three classes over two days in school. The sessions were part of the Creating Our Futures project which was supported by funding from the L&Q Foundation saw 6 other schools in the E1 postcode participate.
The school wanted a mural to brighten up the EYFS playground and make visual links to the mud kitchen and the bug hotels, tying together these two disparate areas. The mini-beasts element was also inspired by two of the books the children are reading in school; The Hungry Caterpillar and The Super Worm.
“Children and staff saw how observational illustrations can be produced by reducing an image down to simple shapes.”
Mark Oliver, Lead Artist
Mark began by introducing himself and his practice to the children, explaining the process of the project and that they would be working towards a new artwork for their playground. Mark discussed the different types of insect groups they could represent including flying, burrowing, marching and the different ways in which food is grown such as underground, overground and in the air. The groups used colour, shapes and symbols to create visual representations of a range of food and mini-beasts.
“The children were very ambitious with their cutting and produced striking images.”
Jo Hamblyn, Year 1 Teacher
Sessions provided the opportunity for open exploration, encouraged working on a larger scale and working towards creating a permanent artwork for their playground. Children understood that their collages would be used for a permanent display in the playground so took pride in their work and improved on their cutting skills.
Mark then collated all of the children’s work and scanned it in to create digital designs for three large scale panels. The panels are now installed on the walls of the EYFS playground and brighten up the area making it more inviting for staff, children, parents and visitors to the school.
“An inspired design to be enjoyed for many years to come.”
Judy Knappett, Head Teacher at Hague Primary