Art and Design KS2: L.S. Lowry’s 'Britain at Play'

A statue comes to life in a magical gallery and walks into the painting 'Britain at Play' by L.S. Lowry.

Inside the painting she explores Lowry’s exploration of community and the balance between life and work.

We explore the techniques Lowry used to create his works, and his placement within the artistic world at the time of the painting and beyond.

In a mixture of live action, animation and elements of the painting itself, the clip brings the painting to life and ends by encouraging viewers to discuss what is happening in the communities around them today and the importance of getting involved.

This clip is from the series Your Paintings.

Teacher Notes

Introduce and discuss with children Lowry’s painting entitled 'Britain at Play' as a metaphor for all working towns in Britain, and working people taking a day off.

Focus on their own familiar local area and in particular any local industry to relate this to the painting.

Focus on industrial architecture, factories and chimneys; unremarkable buildings of seemingly little or no importance, and get them to observe the people coming and going from there.

Get them to sketch images from these industrial areas and working landscapes.

Choose appropriate colour schemes, using Lowry’s five basic colours if possible. As an extension, suggest children try painting themselves, family, friends and neighbours into a crowd scene in a park, at a football match or a summer fair for example.

Simplifying the figures into a Lowry style may help to achieve this more easily.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Art and Design at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at 2nd Level in Scotland.