Photo gallery: Christmas trail of schoolchildren’s art being launched in Norwich tonight

Adorning their Christmas Art Trail presents with creativity - pupils of Lakenham Primary School. Photo: Steve Adams Adorning their Christmas Art Trail presents with creativity - pupils of Lakenham Primary School. Photo: Steve Adams

Thursday, November 22, 2012
9:23 AM

Colourful and creative gifts are being scattered across the city for a special festive trail adorning Norwich this Christmas.

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Lakenham Primary School

Norwich Cathedral, a snowman, and a Christmas tree, are among the great colourful images to decorate Lakenham Primary School’s stack of presents that is being displayed at the EDP’s office in Rouen Road.

Year six students worked with artist Mik Richardson to come up with the design idea, and pupils from throughout the City Road school were involved in creating the art work.

Deputy headteacher Nikki Wilson said: “The school got involved in the project as it was a wonderful opportunity for the children to be involved in an art project where their work would be displayed to the public and they would be able to share their achievements with their families and the residents of Norwich.

“Year six children developed their ideas alongside Mik and have mixed images of Christmas with the Cathedral. They have decorated parts of the stack of presents with a newspaper collage as our partner is the Evening News. The rest of the present has been decorated with paint.

“The children have really enjoyed the project and think that it is great that children of all ages from throughout the school can be involved. They especially like the idea that it is linked to Christmas and love being involved in the art work.

“They are also excited about it being part of the Christmas Art Trail and that thousands of people will get to enjoy their achievements.”

Among the pupils to decorate the present stack were 10-year-old Harmony Curtis and nine-year-old Amy Hussein who both said they loved taking part in the Christmas project and especially enjoyed creating the snowman out of newspaper.

Nine-year-old Jordan Norman and 10-year-old Lewis Collins said their favourite part was painting the Christmas tree.

Armed with paint pots, glitter and glue, great imagination, and some help from local artists, pupils from 18 schools have been working hard decorating 7ft high stacks of presents that have been delivered to city venues ready for the launch of the NORWICHRISTMAS Art Trail being launched tonight alongside Norwich’s big Christmas lights switch-on.

With the presents now in place at venues including the EDP and Norwich Evening News’ head office at Rouen Road, Norwich Theatre Royal, Chapelfield Shopping Centre, Jarrold and Castle Mall, it is hoped they will encourage people of all ages to explore the city and seek out the festive stacks of unique art.

The seasonal project - which runs until Twelfth Night - is being delivered by NORCA (Norwich and Norfolk Community Arts) on behalf of the Norwich Business Improvement District and supported by Chapelfield and Howes Percival

It is also raising funds for the Norwich-based charity Nelson’s Journey which provides support for bereaved children.

Cathie Davies, operations manager at NORCA, has been overseeing the project and artists Matt Reeve and Mik Richardson have been working with the schools.

Ms Davies said she was really impressed with how the schools have embraced the project and that the business sponsors hosting the artwork for the trail had also been delighted when they received the children’s finished work ahead of the trail launch.

She said: “The schools have been amazing and worked so hard. We are really proud of the way they have embraced the project and had such great imagination. We dropped the present stacks off to the schools as pieces of wood and picked them up as pieces of art.

“What I really like about the present stacks is that they are all so different. Each school has come up with great ideas. It is brilliant to see that the children are so proud of what they have achieved and that they cannot wait to show their work of to the rest of Norwich. They are all so proud of where their present stacks are going on display.”

She said the trail was a real community project and it was great to see the partnerships between the schools and the businesses.

HMP Norwich has also been involved as part of its community work with Chapelfield Shopping Centre - the wood for the present stacks was donated by Chapelfield and sent to HMP Norwich where inmates cut out the wooden present stacks ready for the children to decorate them.

Ms Davies said: “It is real a community event and a way of bringing all the city together at Christmas for a magical experience.”

Jane Claridge, Norwich Business Improvement District board member and general manager of Norwich Theatre Royal which is hosting one of the present stacks, urged as many people as possible to get involved and follow the trail over Christmas - and she highlighted that if people visit 10 of the present stack sites they could be in with a chance of winning prizes.

She said: “Businesses in the city centre have worked together to create the NORWICHRISTMAS Art Trail 2012.

“Come along and follow the trail; discover these great pieces of art but do linger a while. You’ll find new places to shop, great places to eat, things to do and buildings to explore. And if you collect at least 10 stamps along the way you can enter into a draw for some fantastic prizes. You don’t need to complete it in a day, so bring the family and get exploring!”

To enter the trail competition people need to pick up a Christmas Art Trail leaflet and collect stamps from 10 of the present stack sites. From today the Christmas Art Trail leaflet can be picked up from the Tourist Information Centre at the Forum and all of the present stack sites. It can also be downloaded from the EDP website www.edp24.co.uk and the VisitNorwich website www.visitnorwich.co.uk

• There has been a change of venue for Kinsale Junior School’s present stack - it is now being displayed at Boots in London Street, and not Winsor Bishop as some leaflets advertise.

• The EDP and Norwich Evening News will be featuring each of the schools involved in the project over the next few days. Tomorrow we will be featuring Notre Dame High School and Lodge Lane Infant School.

• For more about Nelson’s Journey visit www.nelsonsjourney.org.uk

• Share your pictures of the NORWICHRISTMAS Art Trail at www.iwitness24.co.uk

• Are you involved in a festive art project in Norwich? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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