LS Lowry painting takes pride of place at Portsmouth school

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CHILDREN have been acting as curators for the day by playing host to a world-famous masterpiece.

Youngsters at St Edmund’s Catholic School in Landport had a painting in their library as part of a bid to inspire and encourage them to explore art.

The Floating Bridge on display in the St Edmund's School library

The Floating Bridge on display in the St Edmund's School library

The 1956 painting is by LS Lowry and is called The Floating Bridge.

It is part of a project supported by BBC Learning called Your Paintings: Masterpieces in Schools which has seen paintings worth an estimated £14m in total being taken to a select number of schools across the country.

Headteacher Simon Graham said: ‘It’s tremendously exciting. We are one of only 27 schools in the country to have a masterpiece at school.

‘It brings art to life and we have been able to link art to lots of different subjects.

‘Nearly 800 students have had the chance to see a masterpiece on their doorstep which is a really special thing to be able to do.’

The painting is based on a floating bridge which used to act as a ferry, transporting people over the Itchen river in Southampton.

It is usually on display at the Southampton City Art Gallery.

And Mr Graham said he hopes it inspires children at the school.

‘Ultimately we want to enrich the lives of our children,’ he said. ‘Education is about giving them experiences and who knows what this will lead some young person to go on to do.

‘Maybe they will go on to become a great artist, maybe they will take the art and use it in something they do in future life. Maybe it will just inspire them to go and look at a gallery.

‘But education is about opportunities and that’s what we hope to give our youngsters.’

The school used their work of art to provide inspiration right across curriculum covering art, geography, English and science.

Art pupils also took part in a ‘big draw’ where each student created a section of the painting to go towards a giant size copy.