The Colours of Space at Icknield School
23rd May 2018
Blog by Helen Mason

(click on photos to see more)

I learnt that in art you don’t just use one colour, you can use that colour and the shades of that colour.

It was a real joy to return once again to Icknield School, in Cambridgeshire. I had visited there several times before, once with Heather MacRae (and the Sokol space suit!) during a Space2Earth Challenge workshop, when ESA-UK astronaut Tim Peake was on the International Space Station, ISS. I returned again to the school for an assembly to celebrate all their hard work for the Tim Peake project. I gave the school a copy of his book ‘Hello, Is This Planet Earth’ which has some of his amazing photos taken from the ISS.

This time I (Dr Helen Mason) went with artists Clare Dudeney and Christabel Forbes to run a SunSpaceArt workshop with both Year 5 (Our Place in the Universe) and also Year 1 (Colours of Space). In both classes we talked about the Sun and space. We answered loads and loads of great questions. The artists then talked to the children about art, showing them how to use colours, pastels and collage. They encouraged them to make some very imaginative art work. We were stunned by the creativity in both year groups, as they expressed their thoughts about space, the view from the ISS, the northern lights, the planets, the pillars of creation and the universe. We just wished that we could have spent more time with them all. The welcome at Icknield school was as warm as ever.

So, what did the children think? We encouraged them to use their imaginations. One child imagined that she was in Antarctica looking up at the Aurora Australis. Another said ‘My place in the Universe is extremely small compared to a red hyper giant’. What were they going to draw? ‘A blue whale and an ant’, ‘the northern lights seen from space’ and many, many other things. Let the children have the last say  ‘I really enjoyed today and it was a great treat. Art was really fun and I enjoyed learning new things about space’ Leona.