“I liked it because it made me more creative. It was so fun.” (pupil at Kenmont Primary School, London)
What do primary school children think of art galleries full of dark old paintings. Is their imagination set alight? Are they inspired to be creative?
Children in various different primary schools have taken Joseph Wright of Derby’s painting ‘Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump’, which is over 250 years old, having been painted in 1868 and, though the atmosphere and lighting is full of drama, is probably passed over by many visitors to the National Gallery, and let their imagination run free with flying birds, travelling scientist posters, blueprints for fantasy machines, wings of wisdom, portraits and self-portraits, studies of hands, a scientist sculpture, a cabinet of curiosities, a birdcage, and lots more….
A fantastic initiative supported by Columbia Threadneedle, ‘Take One Picture’ has been running since 1995. If local municipal art galleries are not already doing this with their local schools, they should do so.
“We learnt how to visualise things in a different way. It made our imaginations kick in and let ours mind’s eye do the rest” (pupil at Brighton College Prep School, Brighton)
“I really enjoyed learning about the boy in the painting…..trying to piece together the history and using our imaginations to create a story for his life” (pupil at Gateway School Buckinghamshire).