Wilberforce Primary School – July 2010
Thirty year four students took part in a three-day workshop focused on painting and design. Through a collaborative, creative process, students were led to recognise the traditional principles of form, pattern and design that derive from Nature. Students were taught how to make paints from their natural sources and apply them using traditional techniques.
Aimed at exploring the links between mathematics, science, art and nature, the workshop also introduced students to a new set of skills to enhance their work at school across the national curriculum. Participating teachers were given educational resources in order that they can continue to teach with this methodology.
Wilberforce School has a diverse mix of students, 96% are from UK minority ethnic groups, including Bangladeshi and Black African. One of the aims of workshop was to demonstrate the common principles exhibited in the arts of many traditions and thereby encourage a greater understanding of the heritage shared by all.
At the end of the three-day workshop participants had jointly created a tree inspired by motifs found in traditional Indian miniature painting. The permanent exhibition of this work of art will serve to act as a constant reminder of the unifying results that can be attained by a community whose efforts are directed together towards a common goal.
In March 2011, this artwork will join others in an exhibition to showcase the work created as part of the Painting & Patronage Programme 2010-2011. In London and Burnley eight schools, both primary and secondary, are participating in the Painting & Patronage Programme during 2010-2011.
Michael Guy, classroom teacher at Wilberforce Primary School
“The children enjoyed the process and were very proud of the final piece. They learned a lot about the source of paints and watercolour paint skills. It was particularly useful for them to be encouraged to work on fine details. It was very educational for me as well”.
Year 4 students:
“I liked the way they taught us to make paint from the rocks.” “I liked it when all the pictures were together.” “I recommend that if these people want to join you for three days, you accept.”
Dr Khaled Azzam, LVO, Director of The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts:
“London is a multicultural community which brings together all the main cultures and civilisations of the world. This richness is best seen through the arts of the different communities who have settled here. Yet these arts are more than just a reflection of a cultural identity – they are an expression of the common consciousness of the unity of the order of nature which underlies all these great civilisations. We are grateful for this partnership with Painting & Patronage which has allowed us to extend our work to a wider community of London schools.”
Mr Anthony Bailey, OBE, Chairman of Painting & Patronage: “Painting & Patronage is delighted to partner once again with The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in delivering cultural and artistic programmes into schools with some of the most ethnically and culturally diverse communities in Britain. In the words and deeds of children we see the innocence of youth developing a bridge cross communities and races which in unfettered by the misunderstandings of their elders. This programme also gives life to the longstanding vision of The Prince of Wales and Prince Khalid Al-Faisal and their partnering organisations which work to bring to life to the message that there is much more that unites us rather than divides and no more so is this illustrated through art and education”.