Published: Tuesday, 21st May 2019

Primary schoolchildren’s artwork will be on display in Rochester later this month.

START: Primary Prints showcases the creativity of more than 200 pupils from schools across Medway.

Throughout the year children from Balfour Junior Academy, Lordswood School, Stoke Primary Academy and Allhallows Primary Academy have been working on a chosen theme with Medway Council’s heritage team. With the support of an artist, and treasures at the Guildhall Museum as inspiration, they have created artwork using a variety of print and other techniques.

The work is part of the Guildhall Museum’s partnership programme: START, which is jointly funded by Royal Opera House Bridge and Children & the Arts.

The exhibition will launch the Medway Print Festival 2019 and will be at Rochester Art Gallery and Eastgate House from Friday, 31 May, until Sunday, 23 June. The Medway Print Festival celebrates printmaking in all its forms, with two weeks of events and activities across Medway.

Some of the Guildhall Museum’s pictures and objects which inspired the artwork will also be on display as part of the exhibition.

Paintings and prints of local landscapes were used as inspiration by Lordswood School and printmaker Heather Haythornthwaite to explore the idea of a Green and Pleasant Land. Children at Stoke and Allhallows primary academies learnt about shepherding and cement-making on the Hoo Peninsula. Pupils loved bubble-wrap-sheep printing with textile artist Lily Dudley and this inspired her silk scarves print.

Looking at Roman coins led to exploring notions of value, which became the concept for The Paper Vault, a joint creation by pupils from Balfour Junior Academy and 3D creative expert, Jo Dyer, of Animate Arts. The full installation, entirely constructed from recycled printed material, can be seen at Eastgate House.

Encouraging children's creativity 

Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “We’re pleased to be encouraging the creativity of local primary school pupils. It’s great that we are also able to showcase their work at Rochester Art Gallery and at Eastgate House giving  Medway residents the chance to view and explore it.”

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