Saatchi Gallery Schools Prize

Ambler Primary School and Children's Centre

London, United Kingdom

Hall of DREAMS How do you draw ‘determination’? What does ‘resilience’ look like? Ambler Primary School asked Art Hoppers to find out. At Ambler, it’s our job to help children achieve their DREAMS. 6 core values help us to ‘Achieve More‘ Determination, Resilience, Enthusiasm, Ambition, Motivation & Self-belief. Art Hoppers began working with children across the school from reception to year 6 in June 2016. Inspired by the school values, the project aimed to create an art exhibition which illustrated DREAMS in a creative and compelling way. Art Hoppers introduced the children to a variety of internationally acclaimed artists and experimental drawing techniques which led to abstract pieces of work. Using materials such as wax, ink, oil pastel and carbon paper, the children explored different ways of making marks on paper. Brushes taped to the end of long sticks, blowing ink over metallic paper with straws and drawing whilst lying down with arms circling over giant sheets of paper are just some of the alternative ways the children began to draw. These approaches encouraged new ways of thinking about how and why we make art. In the making, the children experienced enthusiasm and motivation. They learnt that certain art techniques require determination and resilience to complete and that ambition plays a huge part in furthering our knowledge, our skills and as a result, bolsters our belief in the self. Years 5 and 6 were given the challenge of making drawing machines using a collection of toy vehicles, hexbugs and household objects such as pegs and elastic bands. They also designed the mask for an experimental drawing suit, enabling the wearer to draw with full body movement! The exhibited artworks in the hall of DREAMS are the result of creative experimentation and a lot of fun. The pixel painting is inspired by artist Martin Johnson Heade who painted exotic flowers from Brazil. Here Art Hoppers placed 1764 squares measuring 3cm x 3cm each to recreate a section of one of his paintings. Each square is a small piece of the children's abstract drawings. The image includes artwork from all year groups. By breaking down the abstraction and puzzling it together in a new way, the art comes full circle from free experimentation to the representation of something from the real world - a flower in full bloom.