Ramsgate Arts Primary pupils take up National Gallery challenge

Boat-building by inspired pupils

Young creatives at Ramsgate Arts Primary have been displaying their collective imaginative skills for a competition run by the world famous National Gallery in London.

The annual nationwide Take One Picture project invites children to create artworks around a striking image and then plan, create, submit and exhibit their works.

A Shipwreck in Stormy Seas by Claude-Joseph Vernet is the gallery’s choice to inspire pupils for the 2022/2023 challenge.

It depicts a rocky shoreline buffeted by a violent sea storm. Two ships roll in the giant swell, sails tied down or tattered by the turbulent winds and lashing rain, while a third ship lies shattered against the rocks. Figures carry salvaged goods up the shore, while an unconscious woman is laid out on a rock, her friends overwhelmed with despair.

Head of School Nick Budge said: “This dramatic seascape certainly inspired all our year groups to create thought-provoking artwork that focuses on many parts of the story.

“Our art team of Mike Brown and Karen Vost, teachers, support staff and families all helped with the project which produced striking thought-provoking results that made for a brilliant exhibition in our main entrance and reception areas.”

The range of work included a large replica ship created from scratch by pupils from Team Gunson; other year groups provided storm clouds, wrecked ships on stormy seas, sculptures, specially designed sail cloths, illuminated sea urchins and other aspects of the historic painting using various styles, techniques and materials.

In recent years Ramsgate Arts Primary has been praised by the competition organisers for the quality and breadth of its submissions.

As a result, RAPS entries were displayed at the National Gallery as part of a virtual tour at the start of pandemic lockdown, and they also saw their work featured on digital billboards in major cities across the UK.

Ocean Outdoors showed entries on sites in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. It included RAPS’ Soundwave Cityscapes that featured audio recordings of seagulls screeching, foghorns blaring and horses neighing transformed from sonic waveforms into artwork resembling a metropolitan skyline.

The inspiration for that competition was the evocative painting the Men of the Docks by George Bellows in 1912 that features workers on the docks of New York’s frozen East River, the skyscrapers of Manhattan and a vast ocean liner towering in the background.

Mr Budge added: “This is a fabulous competition and it encourages our children to think deeply and interpret what they see and feel.

“We have produced some inspirational creations in the last few years and we have done very well in the competition.

“Once again the standard demonstrated by our girls and boys for the current Take One Picture venture is very high – they worked very hard with their teachers and the result is a fabulous showcase of their skills.”

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