Norwich school children from St Michael’s Primary create modern art inspired by Jackson Pollock

Children at a Norwich school have been inspired by modern art to learn enterprising skills and get suitably messy in the process.

Yesterday was the last day of enterprise week at St Michael's VA Junior School, Astley Road, Bowthorpe, where pupils learnt how to make their way in the world of commerce and about the value of money.

One of the ways they have been doing this is by making their own works of art to sell and publicising and promoting their own 'business', leading up to the two-day school fair on Thursday and yesterday.

The inspiration is an unusual one; reclusive abstract impressionist Jackson Pollock. But as year six teacher Danny Knott explained, Pollock's methods – using liquid paint flicked onto a large canvas – make him a suitable one.

'They have created canvases inspired by Jackson Pollock, getting messy and getting me messy as well, they've really gone to town with it,' said Mr Knott.

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'They have had aprons on so they didn't get any on their uniforms, although I got splattered when they were splattering it about.'

Mr Knott said he has been impressed with the children's efforts, as they thought of new and creative ways to make different effects with the paint.

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They used straws to blow the paint in streaks, brought old toothbrushes in to flick the paint and empty kitchen spray bottles to create a graffiti effect.

Ten-year-old Reece Murdoch, from Threescore Colney, had been the managing his team. He said: 'I've been telling them what they should do, and they have been asking me what is the best thing to do.

'We have made really colourful ones, and modern art, really new and one of a kind. I like it because it shows that children can do really good artwork. We get the chance to be ourselves and express what we've got.'

One of the pieces that sold well was plain hollow key rings turned into pieces of art by way of an organic process. Filling them with various colours of acrylic paint created random patterns.

Mr Knott added: 'Their work is great, but this whole week isn't just about art, it's about developing a life skill which is going to set them up for the future. They don't get these opportunities that often, to understand the real value of money and what things cost.

'Some have baked and designed cakes. It's about getting them to realise that you can actually get out there and make money.

'Some have thought they might start their own car wash or jumble sale. It has inspired them, and in today's climate it gives them hope for their future.'

Have you been involved in something that has inspired you? Call Joe Wilkes on 01603 772 439 or email

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