The People's Palace

Where: Rokesly Infant School
When: June 2016
Topic: Alexandra Palace Opening
Year groups: Reception

Commissioned by:

Jo Angell

People’s Palace – forgotten fun

The Network Learning Arts Group is a community of schools in North London who work together to showcase the creative talents of their pupils through the arts. Each year the network agrees on a theme and a body of work is developed for a group exhibition. Jo Angell, a local artist and designer led the schools toward the 2016 theme of journeys – The network took a journey into the past to discover more about their local landmark Alexandra Palace and it’s history.

Jo distributes a canvas panel to each class involved in the project, in the lead up to the exhibition. The completed panels are exhibited as a collection of diverse ideas / interpretations on the theme. A concluding exhibition takes place in Hornsey Library.
Jo invited Claire WT of Art Hoppers to work with her on the project and to lead the children of Rokesly Infant School toward their finished artwork. Here’s what we did:

The 4 and 5 yr old children from Silver reception class were happy to share their enjoyment of our local landmark, Alexandra Palace. During the 1873 opening ceremony, one of the many events included a show of cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. The excitement amongst the class in studying these cute and furry creatures was met with enthusiasm, reflected in the detail of their drawings! The children applied a photo transfer technique directly onto the canvas to create a print from archival media in an aptly distressed quality and the letters in the banner were traced over a printed font using carbon paper

A very brief history of the palace from the Hornsey Historical Society:

The original palace was built in 1873 as the ‘people’s palace’, a place of varied entertainment and opened on Queen Victoria’s birthday on 24th May 1873. 120,000 people visited to enjoy the new structure. Destroyed by fire only 16 days after opening, it was closed down and rebuilt in 1875 and survived in that form until 1980, when another fire resulted in more restoration work.

Image gallery

Stats about this project

  • Drawing 50% 50%
  • Print Transfer 50% 50%

Applied art techniques

Number of participants