Ed Gray and Murals at SMMS

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Rotherhithe artist Ed Gray has been working with children from Years 4, 5 and 6 from St Mary Magdalene CE Primary School Peckham to create two large scale murals.

The artist, best known for his London figurative street scenes, has collaborated with the children to create two new murals that reveal  a day in the life of the school from the pupils’ viewpoint.

The first panel depicts pupils at home preparing for the school day, then arriving at school, greeting friends and learning in class as well as receiving and eating their school lunch. The second panel focuses on creativity and teamwork in the school with play, music, dancing and sport all featuring prominently.

Ed initally discussed ideas with pupils in a brainstorming session and then ran life-drawing classes that reenacted the key daily moments that the pupils described. The murals are intended  to reflect the values of the school; trust, honesty, love, peace, forgiveness, wonder, thankfulness, compassion, hope and the importance of the uniqueness of each child.

“I’ve worked on a few ambitious 2D and 3D projects at St Mary Magdalene. For this project we went even further, taking inspiration from images from Renaissance old master Giotto’s beautiful mural cycles. The children have been amazing to work with. They have learnt so much about drawing, colour mixing, paintbrush control and narrative composition.

Despite the incredible talent in the huge UK creative industries’ sector Art and craft is often squeezed out of the curriculum of so many schools so it’s vitally important that creative professionals collaborate on projects with pupils that are ambitious and build confidence in new ways. I’m grateful that the pupils were able to dedicate the necessary time to making these murals such a joyous celebration of school life.”

Ed Gray