The current exhibition of Quentin Blake’s drawings of surreal hats at The Jerwood Gallery is a gift for teachers. It’s a delightful starting point for fantastically playful writing and drawing activities to engage the whole class.
I worked with year 4 children at Rye Primary Academy at the exhibition. I asked them to simply begin by copying one of the drawings and then add their own ideas to complete the picture. They could invent a name, add the character’s home, pets, thoughts, speech, and to perhaps imagine the moment before and after the moment in the image.
The children loved the art and the activity and could have done the activity for hours but we had a short 90 minute session with lots of other things to do.
I think the exhibition works so well because Blake’s images are immediately approachable but leave masses of space- both pictorial and imaginative- for the children’s own daydreams.
The children made a fantastic storehouse of ideas for poems, stories and further art work. A complete delight!
It made me think that specifically child-friendly exhibitions are a great idea.
Head along to the exhibition until January- and perhaps take a look at my mural outside the studio at the gallery!
Some of the Children’s Drawings
I think Mr Apples is my favourite!
…and here’s a taste of my mural: