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Visual Arts


Pupils from Shanghai contributed to the collage.
Shanghai pupils contributed to the piece

International Traffic Jam Art Exhibition

Tractors ploughing fields, hot air balloons firing into skies and boats sailing across lakes have been captured as part of an international children's art project - which is on display at Itteringham, near Aylsham, until 18 March 2006.


Art work by children from around the globe has gone on show at Withers Gallery in Itteringham.

The centre pieces of the exhibition are four collages, which showcase drawings by children from 10 schools around Aylsham as well as pictures from youngsters in Cambodia, China, Germany, India, Japan, Norway and Poland.

The four works for the International Traffic Jam Art Exhibition boast around 250 drawings each and were arranged by Blickling artist Jessica Perry.

Cultural differences

The budding artists, aged between 5 and 12, were told to explore the way they travelled in their drawings, revealing some interesting cultural differences.

"We had lots of tractors from Hevingham," said Jessica Perry, who managed the project.

"The drawings we had from the children in Shanghai were fantastic and featured quite a lot of aerial views as well.

Boats dominated the Cambodian contributions.
Boats dominated the Cambodian art work

"It was if they were looking down from high rise buildings - they've done whole road plans.

"The Cambodian children don't travel, they very much stay in their area, around a lake.

"They live in a floating house, where they fish from and there are minimal roads. There was one drawing with a road on it, but there are no bikes, no cars," added Jessica.

Collaborative collage

The pupils from Norfolk who took part attend Aylsham High, Bure Valley, St Michael's First and Nursery, John Of Gaunt First and Nursery, Hevingham Primary, Marsham Primary, Erpingham Primary, Aldborough Primary, Colby Primary and Buxton Primary.

Staff at the seven overseas schools were then approached, building on relationships already established between local teachers with their foreign counterparts or creating new partnerships across the internet.

Five workers, under the banner of Umbrella Arts, have spent around a year putting the scheme together.

It was devised after Jessica was commissioned to produce pictures to brighten the children's wards at Norfolk And Norwich University Hospital.

She used 250 drawings of beach scenes by children from four of the county's schools and then cut them out to form collages.

She was so impressed with the colourful results and the feedback from children and their parents that it encouraged her to do more.

Inspired by the annual International Walk To School Day and enthusiasm by gallery owner Jane Withers to hold a children's art exhibition, Jessica plumped to organise the International Traffic Jam project.

Prints of the collages will be on sale at the Itteringham exhibition to help pay for framed pictures for each of the foreign schools and to help pave the way for more schemes.

The exhibition is open from 4 to 18 March, Monday to Saturday, from 1 to 5pm, at Withers Gallery, Itteringham. Call 01263 585010.

last updated: 06/03/06
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