Art and Design KS2: Paula Rego’s ‘Sleeping’

A statue comes to life in a magical gallery and climbs into the painting 'Sleeping' by Paula Rego.

Inside the painting she explores Rego’s inspirations and her desire to have viewers make up stories about her works.

We explore the techniques Rego used to create her works, and her 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 create their own story to explain what is happening in the painting.

This clip is from the series Your Paintings.

As an exploration of the supposed story behind a painting, children could begin by re-interpreting the story behind Paula Rego’s 'Sleeping' in their own words.

Offer them a selection of seemingly random objects or images per table and ask them to make connections between them.

Can they find a common thread or theme running through them? Are there some which don’t seem to fit easily and why?

They could then create a piece of artwork to link them together to tell their own unique story.

Reinforce the idea of stories behind images by looking at other artists’ work with back-stories such as John Martin’s 'Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah', Bruegel’s 'Tower Of Babel' or Renoir’s 'Moulin de la Galette', sharing both the official interpretations and the children’s own.

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.