The beautiful landscape of the Highlands served as an inspirational motif to the artworks of pupils from Aragon Primary School in Merton. Six pupils from year one and six took a four-day trip to Strontian in July and met with artists from all over the world, including the USA and South Africa.
The students are all part of the international “Room 13” project – an international network of primary school art students who run studios in each of their schools and work closely with artists in residence.
Aragon Primary School was the first school in London to run its Room 13 art studio, which started in 2005.
The project allows students to forge international links with other artistic young minds while providing an opportunity for the children to view and discuss the creativity that takes place in their studios.
The exchange of cultural ideas combined with a first-hand experience of the powerful Scottish scenery had a profound effect on pupils, which was reflected in the artwork they then produced.
The young artists from Merton also contributed to projects being developed by other Room 13 artists. This included taking part in filming and photography projects led by the American and South African fellow artists, or devising animal characters for a children’s book to be published by Room 13 Foshay, in Los Angeles.
Gill Wilson, headteacher at Aragon Primary School, says: “The trip to Scotland gave the children a unique opportunity and experience. They returned full of enthusiasm, motivation and a desire to further develop their own artistic skills as part of Room 13.”
Councillor Debbie Shears, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, says: “It is wonderful to see our young students developing their creative skills while sharing experiences and making new friends with children from other parts of the world.
This is exactly the kind of intercultural exchange Merton Council aims to promote, so that children become tolerant adults who enjoy living in a multi-cultural community.”