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Pupils go undersea exploring and meeting tigers – through art

Children were encouraged to release their inner Rembrandts and pour out their hidden Picassos recently in a day of events inspired by the theme of classic art.

Representatives from the Magic Lantern, a nationwide educational charity which encourages the use of painting and works of art in a wider teaching environment, visited the school to work with children in Reception and Year One on art and performance projects based around the undersea collages of Henri Matisse, and Henri Rousseau’s classic picture ‘Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised)'.

Lime Tree deputy head Claire Williamson, who oversaw events on the day, said it had been a wonderful experience for the children. “Youngsters have such a different way of looking at the world that often they can interpret and respond to art in a way that adults never would,” she explained. “Matisse is a perfect example – collages and cutting out shapes and colours like that are something that they can relate to in a very direct way, so they respond very enthusiastically and see it as something they can do.

“Similarly, the Tiger painting is a very bold, straight forward image depicting a dramatic scene, and they really reacted to it, and enjoyed acting out what might be going on in the picture. Having Magic Lantern in was a wonderful way of stimulating their imaginations.”

Kate Dalton, representing event sponsors Reigate Decorative and Fine Art Society, helped set up the event and said the group were similarly delighted by their visit to the school. “They really enjoyed their visit to Lime Tree and said it was great to see such an engaged, positive reaction from the children,” she added. “It lets you know what you’re doing is worthwhile when you can see such direct and instant results."