National Gallery London

Friday 1st October 2021

Hornbill School, a MOD school in Brunei, is honoured to have had a piece of artwork created by the children displayed at the National Gallery’s recent Take One Picture exhibition which ran from June – September 2021. Take One Picture is an annual initiative run by the gallery and this is the third time Hornbill School has been selected for display in the London Gallery exhibition.

Each year the gallery selects an artwork, known as the ‘stimulus’, to get the creative juices flowing and give focus to the exhibition. This year, they chose The Battle of San Romano by the Florentine painter Paolo Uccello, which depicts events that took place between Florentine and Sienese forces in 1432, in a battle that lasted eight years.

In January, children from Years 1 to 6 at Hornbill School dedicated their art week to focusing on the painting. Time was taken to explore Uccello’s work, within a sequence of art lessons for each year group. The children considered how they could link the painting with the school’s citizenship values. The inspiration for their work came from a line in the song – When a knight won his spurs – which the school was learning in their community singing time. The song line, ‘Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed’ became the title of the artwork they went on to create.

The lyric led to the idea of creating a ‘values battle’ scene with each fighting soldier being armed with strength given from a given character value. The children discussed the values they thought were needed to have strength to overcome challenging times, and a list of values was created, which included joy, love, hope, truth, peace, happiness and courtesy. A large battle scene was created, with the learners creatively designing knights on horseback and foot soldiers, all made through painted prints. Every fighting character depicted carries a value written on their armour.

The second element to this shared piece of artwork was to integrate the line from the song into the piece. Using the medieval setting of the San Romano battle, lettering was incorporated as words to border the scene.

After analysing all the submissions from schools across the UK, the National Gallery selected Hornbill School’s piece entitled ‘Let faith Be My Shield, Joy Be My Steed’ to form part of the exhibition.

Andy Yeoman, Chief Education Officer at Defence Children Services (DCS), said: “The work that has gone into creating this piece of art is outstanding. The level of detail, the dedication and creativity shown by pupils and teaching staff has created something truly wonderful. We are proud of all the work that goes on in all our MOD Schools and we know pupils are thriving and learning.

“The fact that this is the third time the gallery has highlighted artwork from the school is a wonderful achievement.”

DCS is extremely proud of the school for its achievement, a true celebration of the creativity the Hornbill School community has to offer.

Picture from Hornbill School

See also: Overseas

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