Exploring Marianne North

Sacred Heart School, Hastings is built on the grounds of the home of the eminent Victorian botanical artist Marianne North. Since June 2018 I have been working with the school to explore her paintings and her life, with each year group investigating a different geographical area that she visited.

During “Marianne North Week”, I introduced the children to botanical exploration and observational drawing, as well as an array of art techniques. This culminated in an exhibition of artwork by every child in the school. The two reception classes worked collaboratively on their giant paintings (see photo above of their paintings of South African plants). The rest of the pupils created individual, A4 pieces. The art was displayed in gold frames, in close groups, similar to the way in which North’s work is presented in the dedicated gallery at Kew Gardens

(Year 1: North America. Collage and mixed media)

(Year 2: Caribbean. Oil pastel)

(Year 3: South America. Gouache paint)

(Year 4: Australia. Acrylic paint)

(Year 5: South East Asia. Collage and oil pastel)

(Year 6: India and Sri Lanka. Oil pastel)

The success of the project has led to the decision to incorporate the creative learning week into the school’s annual curriculum for the future. A short film documenting the project is currently in production. Further information about the full breadth of the Exploring Marianne North project (which includes adult learning sessions and awareness raising in Hastings), set up by Creative Force and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is available at: http://www.mariannenorth.uk/




About Sheridan Quigley

Artist and educator.

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