Watch: Ashurst CE Primary School pupil's 'poppy day'

Poppy day at Ashurst CE Primary
Poppy day at Ashurst CE Primary

An exhibition inspired by The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal was recently held by pupils at Ashurst Village Hall.

Members of The British Legion, Steyning Art Club and the public were in attendance to view the various paintings and collages made by the children at Ashurst CE Primary School as part of their autumn term art week.

As well as having their work on display and a large screen showing images of the week’s activities and processes involved, atmospheric music composed by Mr Dominic Smith – ‘When Sussex Died’, was playing throughout as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the great wars.

Visitors to the exhibition all agreed that it had been a magnificent event. Bridget Mordern said: “A wonderful exhibition visually stunning and thought provoking. The music playing created an ideal atmosphere. Great to see the photos of all the work in progress, there was clearly much thought, skill and fun in achieving amazing results.”

With the poppy standing proud as a symbol of hope and rememberance, the art week began in line with the school’s own vision of celebrating love, hope and joy.

To create their artwork, pupils used a range of mediums and techniques.

Children in Years one and two joyously dipped potato shapes into a range of rosy red paint hues. Splodging the patterns across their background paper, all enjoyed the challenges of creating exactly the right combination of colour and style to represent their chosen poppy shapes.

Seeds of barley were then sprinkled and shaken into the centre of each, daubs of jet black paint followed to create the rich central area of each plant.

From Reception to Year one and two, all agreed they had thoroughly enjoyed the week.

Pupils in Years three and four carefully drafted a backdrop for their work using water colour paints in their art books.

Using these designs as a reference they then used fabric water colour paints to create a blended soft base of sky blues and mossy greens for their work.

The next day saw the pupils working with needles and thread to create green, tall, towering stems. Imaginatively designing stitches that reflected the spiky nature of the poppy in its natural state.

The next stage was to use a range of fabrics, some smooth and silky, some rough and ridged – all brightly blending reds of varying hues to create circular shapes that were used to build up layers and petal-like features to sew on to their work.

Pupils in Years five and six used a backdrop of wartime poems and imagery to set the mood and tone for their reflective poppy collages.

Having carefully studied the delicate, papery petals with their vibrant red brightness, the deep blackness of their centres and their tall upright stems standing proud and strong pupils carefully created their own poppy images, some using a single poppy theme and others recreating the swathes that grew.

Pupils used sketching to create their images, they then built up the images using water based paints, finally when dry carefully cutting around the delicate shapes before arranging them onto their chosen symbolic backdrops.

All pupils agreed they were proud to have been a part of it.