When I was asked in 2011 whether I could help Hilgay School's Year 6 produce an end of year mural, I thought -'Well I normally work with perhaps the smallest drawing implement (a dip pen), and generally no larger than A3 or A2 - that's about 24" x 17" in english, but what the heck! - it sounds like fun'.I discussed ideas with the headteacher and then produced a rough design which was then passed over to the pupils.
A week or so later I spent a morning with the kids - they had already each produced drawings of their own animals and fish to populate the jungle scene. We agreed we would create a feeling of depth making use of foreground and background elements in the picture.
The children blew up their drawings on the school photocopier until we were able to produce a small proportional layout which Helen at the Ryston Print Centre scaled up to a whopping two metres square! The full size animals were cut out and then traced in place onto the surface.
With paint donated by the King's Lynn Recycling Centre we began to block in the larger shapes, applying the detail and texture as the work progressed. The students all applied themselves to the task with plenty of energy and creativity - it was clear that up to a point I could pretty much leave it up to them - after all it is their mural.
It was apparent from an early stage that the natural amazon environment had been displaced somewhat by the appearance of the cabin of a rather large Heavy Goods Vehicle. Not sure about the fuel emissions, but you can't say it's not realistic...
On the day of the unveiling the Year 6 children, after a flurry of Lynn News photography, were each presented with a 'Mega Mural Artist Supreme' certificate in recognition of their vision and hard work.
It had been suggested that perhaps the school would make this an annual event, with a new mural painted each year by the outgoing students. A year 4 pupil asked me if she could include her teddy bear when she painted her mural - why not?
The students kindly presented me with a gift certificate which I promptly spent on art supplies. Many thanks Hilgay School!