As part of Priory Lower School's Arts Council Funded Illuminate project we held a community day where parents and children could come and add their portrait to the mural for the Reception play area. Initially the plan was to paint straight onto the fence but the arrival of more snow on the Monday morning meant it would be impossible for the primer to dry. Illuminate's amazing Project Coordinator, Paula Wakeling managed to source and have delivered, 14 marine ply boards and the afternoon was spent cutting and priming them ready for the following morning.
Michael Miles cutting the boards to size
Ivor and Sheila Hind priming
The day started quite quietly, mid-morning MP Richard Fuller came and joined the children for a spot of painting. By the afternoon we were almost overwhelmed with the amount of visitors and after school all the members of staff came to add their portraits instead of having a staff meeting. There were many intense conversations about hair colour and lip shape, plus the complexity of getting the nose looking nose-like and many wails of "Carole, can you just....."!
Having worked on community projects for many years now drop-in sessions are not my favourite, it's hard to meet, greet and inform all the waves of new arrivals and chaos can ensue,
by the end of the day parts of the mural were looking a bit disorderly and it was clear we would need more than a day to get the project finished.
Thankfully we were given more time to bring all the panels together
by mid-morning the next day Mrs Youngman was overheard saying
" I see Carole's been working her magic!"
By Thursday all the panels had been painted and many people had been involved, there was a lovely energy coming from staff, pupils and parents, the children were so proud of their work and the Reception teacher kept coming back to check on our progress "I love! I just love it!"
Can you spot me with my wonderful mural painting Ninja's aka Mr and Mrs Hind who most definitely earned their paint brush wings. So many people gave so much help and their spirit illuminated a very cold, grey week! We will be installing the panels, weather permitting, soon and there will be a celebration of the whole Illuminate project in May.