In September 2023 we worked with 106 Year 2 students from Channing Junior School and St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary to create two artistic outcomes based on the relationship between nature and art.
The project links to former Lauderdale resident, James Yates, who was an eccentric collector with a passion for weird and wonderful plants! Yates held regular 'archaeological garden parties' where he invited guests to look round his Palm House at all the exotic plants on display. One of Yates' favourite plants was the 'Cycad'. He would time his parties when the plant was about to bloom, as when it did, the petals exploded like fireworks, creating quite the spectacle!
Down to Earth began with a trip to Lauderdale House, where the pupils were able to work on their art skills including perspective, tone and shadow. Through dedicated sketching time in the garden, as well as gathering leaves and twigs, students were able to develop these skills and understand how nature can create art. The site visit was followed up with three in-school sessions, held at Channing, where students worked on their own exhibition pieces. These included a mixed-media piece, where pupils were encouraged to collage images of Waterlow Park and the gardens of Lauderdale House, with their own sketches. The second outcome, was a new exotic plant conceived from the students' imaginations. Linking to James Yates and the Cycads, pupils used a range of materials including tissue paper, card, straws and pipe cleaners to create their masterpiece. To round off the programme, we held a private view where staff, parents, family and friends could celebrate the students’ masterpieces
This project was kindly funded by Channing Junior School.