The Lower Prep Art Project

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This half term Lower Prep (Year 1) have been busy preparing for a collaborative artwork based on our PYP theme, Water. 

To kick this off, on 8 November we visited Turret House at the Senior School where two Artists in Residence are based; one of these artists, Emily Kelly, specialises in textured art, which draws some similarities to the layered illustrations we see in books by Eric Carle. After exploring her work, we had the opportunity to view a water-themed art exhibition created by last year’s UIII students, followed by a Q&A session.

The visit gave us inspiration for our own art project which we decided to base on animals found in the River Pang, a location which we had recently visited on a trip to Rushall Farm in Bradfield. Then followed three exciting workshops, led by Emily Kelly, all based in our classrooms at Abbey Gardens.

Our first workshop involved experimenting with ink marbling, paint printing with an array of objects, and observing the effects of adding rock salt to water colours. These results were beautiful and, once dried, were stored in preparation for our second workshop.

On Emily’s return she demonstrated how we could use the patterned papers to create animals that live in the River Pang. We cut out different shapes from our marbling and watercolour sheets and layered these over animal templates to create texture and pattern. The results were beautiful!

Our final workshop was centred on creating the vegetation found in the chalk riverbed. We twisted, scrunched and layered tissue paper, and painted plants such as water crowfoot onto white card to create vegetation for our river animals to hide behind. Later these images will be printed onto acetate sheets.

So, what is next? We now need to assemble our artwork into one giant river mural. The hope is that a copy can be displayed in Abbey Gardens, whilst the originals will be displayed in Turret House in a special art exhibition in early 2023. Watch this space!

A special thank you to Emily Kelly and the Senior School Art Department for all of their support in making this exciting project happen.

The Lower Prep Team

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