Where: Gayhurst Primary School
When: 23/02/17 – 28/04/17
Topic: Spain / Surrealism
Year groups: 3 & 4

Commissioned by:


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Meet the elephant in the room! Play a game of surreal Guess Who? Build a Picasso cube by cube. A playground for the surreal, this exhibition by children aged 7 – 9 years takes a look at the events and artists which shaped Spain at a time when art was being re-imagined and reinvented…

The exhibition #TAG.02 – El Surrealismo / Surealism Olé (23.02.17 – 28.04.17) presents the artworks of children from years 3&4. The exhibition is based on geography topic: ‘Different Places, Similar Lives: Spain’.

Years 3&4 explored the cultural values of Spain – Traditions, the people, food and the rich heritage of art alongside the physical and geographic aspects of the country. It was through the artists working during the lead up to the Spanish Civil War (1920’s / 1930’s) that we chose to focus our eye with an interest in the story of Surrealism through the works of Picasso, Miró and Dalí.

The children enjoyed a trip to the International Surrealism exhibition at Tate Modern as part of their art studies.

The children’s exhibits include Joan Miró inspired collage and 2D assemblages from his anti-painting period when his art was intended as an all out attack on painting! He wanted to create a new pictorial space, in search of something raw and completely new for the time. Year 3 created playful artworks in pairs from the starting point of a word association game.

Year 4 painted 6 studies on stretched canvas of Pablo Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman’ series. They drew bold cubist portraits in oil pastel and then marker pen, then painted strips of each image in pairs. The completed paintings were divided into a grid and applied to 12 x 15cm square cubes. Visitors to the gallery are invited to interact with and shuffle the images by stacking and repositioning the cubes to explore the cubist themes of distortion and multiple viewpoints which inspired and fueled the Surrealist movement.

An ingenious collection of 3D assemblages composed of donated toys and objects* twist all purpose and meaning in a playful homage to the life and works of surrealist icon Salvador Dalí. A recipe for disaster is entitled ‘Car Crash Soup’ while a double decker bus framed as an elephant precariously balances on willow, stork like legs. Try a game of surreal Guess Who? with a community of characters designed using mismatched magazine collage. What questions would you need to ask to discover who your opponents character is?

“It’s a pleasure to explore and find out how the children created such original work” said Executive Head Teacher Louise Nichols.

*Thank you Hackney Playbus and the families who donated objects / toys to the project.

Art Educators / Artists: Claire Ward-Thornton & Sadie Edginton
Supporting Artist: Alex McKenzie

Award Winners

Yrs 3&4 (150 pupils) WON FUTURE ARTIST (age 5-12 category) of the #ArtskickersAwards2017. Here’s two of them collecting their award from Gavin Turk and a prize of £500 worth of art materials from Great Art!

Art Hoppers Claire WT was also shortlisted: TEACHER #Artskickers Award.

THANK YOU Angie Gough who established the Artskickers Awards, the esteemed judges, talented volunteers and sponsors (Amazing goodie bags!) The Award ceremony was a very special and memorable event!

Image gallery

This is a gallery of selected images, to see the full project, please visit the #TAG website

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Hackney Today 27/02/2017
Hackney Gazette 02/03/2017 (link)

Online version

Docklands & East London Advertiser 31/03/17

Online version

Stats about this project

  • Drawing 5% 5%
  • Painting 15% 15%
  • Collage 40% 40%
  • Mixed media Assemblage 20% 20%
  • 3D Assemblage 20% 20%

Applied art disciplines

Number of participants