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The art of the island

Submitted by Education on Wed, 03/05/2017 - 12:31

George Green’s School, Harbinger Primary and St Luke’s Primary recently participated in a joint programme of artist-led work to explore the history and identity of the Isle of Dogs. The programme resulted in three unique permanent artworks which draw on the schools’ local area.

Each school worked with a different artist. Through practical workshops, students learnt new skills in art, gained insights into the Isle and generated ideas and content for their school’s commissioned piece of work.

Year 8s from George Green’s School worked with Jaimini Patel to create a series of abstract acrylic panels, inspired by the topography of the Isle of Dogs. The group looked at maps of the area and photographs of landmarks and architecture before experimenting with composition of abstract shapes using coloured paper, acetate and vinyl. A steering group of 10 young people then worked with Jaimini to fabricate the final artwork.

Damien Robinson worked with Year 6 pupils at Harbinger Primary to create a digital map of the island, drawing on the children’s existing knowledge and memories before collecting objects and photographs on walks around the area. The group made drawings of local landmarks for the map, and wrote a collective sensory poem which weaves its way through the Thames.

Below, Rebecca Abrahams, Head Teacher at St Luke’s, describes the process of creating an artwork for their school’s exterior fence:

Year 5 children worked with artist Carl Stevenson to create new signage for our school. The project started with the children exploring our local area. They visited many significant landmarks and looked for letters in nature that spelled “St. Luke’s”.

Once they collected enough examples of each letter, they then created collages which would later become the background of each sign. Inside each letter, are prints and collages that the children created which are related to the Isle of Dogs. For example, the letter T shows the DLR at Island Gardens, the letter U, which represents the River Thames, has several seafaring vessels, as the Island was once a major docking area.


If you would like a permanent artwork for your school or are interested in our consortium model of working with groups of schools, please contact