Published: Tuesday, 21st June 2022

Schoolchildren across Medway have helped design a spectacular mural in Rainham.

Wendy Daws of MESS ROOM and Mark Barnes Design, supported by our Culture Team, have created a Jubilee Shadowplay mural which has been painted on the changing block inside Rainham Rec.

It is a Shadowplay mural which celebrates the park for the Platinum Jubilee recognising the link between the park being designated for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887 and the celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

The Shadowplay scenes have been created by local students through a series of school workshops with Year 7 Leigh Academy, Rainham and Year 9 The Howard School Rainham. The students set the Jubilee celebratory theme, exploring light and perspective to create their perfect shadows. 

Another workshop was held at Riverside Primary Rainham with Year 4 students adding their ideas to the overall design. A total of 70 students took part as Shadow Makers to inspire the final Shadowplay artwork. 

Bringing the local community together

Deputy Leader of Medway Council, and Portfolio Holder for Community Services, Cllr Howard Doe, said: “I am pleased that this great project has brought the local community together to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The workshops with schools were a great success and really showcased the creative talents of our young people. I look forward to seeing the completed mural.”

Showcasing creativity

Cllr Martin Potter, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools and Child-Friendly Medway Champion, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to get children and young people involved in this fantastic project with the children learning new artistic techniques and showcasing their creativity. I got to see this first-hand at The Howard School where I joined the artist working with a Year 9 Photography group and even had a go along with the students, to my surprise this ended up in the mural! It was also a privilege to see local young people who the Medway Youth Service engage with in the park taking part too. The project is another great example of Medway Council's child-friendly agenda at work, and I would encourage the local community to come and see the mural on Sunday, 26 June.”

Great fun

A Year 9 Howard School student said: "On 26 May, we had a workshop where we focussed on creating Jubilee-based shadow projects. The experience was great, we created props to build our scene and had free will to create whatever we wanted as long as it is linked to the subject. My Expectation was high and it was exceeded, it was great fun and the people running the workshop were very helpful in creating our image. It was a fun, creative afternoon and left me very pleased with what we made in the short amount of time we had.”

Exuding energy and enthusiasm 

Victoria Swanston, Art Teacher, Leigh Academy: "It was great to see the students' creativity come alive outside of the classroom and the energy and enthusiasm that they exuded during the workshop. The Mess Room staff were fantastic with the students, nurturing their ideas constructively. It was a fantastic opportunity and we are all grateful to have been involved."

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