Celebrating the new murals: Penny French, aged six Michael Willis, aged eight, Annelay Van Schalkwyk, aged eight, Zachary Hones, aged five, Benjamin Duffy, aged nine, and Elizabeth Garlick, aged 10

Painting on the walls at village school near Buckingham

Finmere children brightened up their school building with these amazing tree murals in a week-long art project

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 3:40 pm

An art project involving village schoolchildren has left a legacy of beautiful murals to brighten up the building.

Working with professional tutor Emily Cooling of Creating Art, all 50 children of Finmere Church of England Primary School have helped to create massive tree murals to decorate the plain brick walls of the school building and bring colour to the playground.

The week-long art project was funded by a generous grant from the Mouth & Foot Painting Artists Trust Fund, organised by the mouth artist Keith Jansz, who is a trustee.

The murals are designed to represent the names of the school houses - Willow, Maple and Redwood - and reflect the children’s connection with the natural world.

Keith, who lives next door to the school in Finmere, said: "We're glad that we could fund such a fantastic project.

"I've seen it all in action, taking shape, and I’m thrilled that the children were able to create such a monumental artwork.

"It’s vital that they teach us all about the importance of nature and that our very existence depends on our trees producing the air we breathe."

The massive artworks were painted on board, with every brushstroke done by the children under Emily's guidance.

Starting with the background, the pictures were built up in layers, with the trees being painted last - something the children found hard to grasp, Emily explained.

"With the maple tree one, they couldn't understand what was happening till the tree trunks went on. It was fascinating."

The finished murals were then fixed to the school walls to be unveiled at the end of term, which also saw the retirement of headteacher Caroline Tucker.

Mrs Tucker said: "The artwork looks fantastic - it has completely enhanced our main playground and outdoor area.

"The pupils have loved seeing their work installed and spotting the parts they had each done."

"Using the class names, Willow, Maple and Redwood, to inspire the artwork has made this a really special assignment. Parents were delighted too, seeing the scale of the project.

"We are extremely grateful to our school neighbour and supporter, Keith Jansz, for enabling us to deliver such a rich and creative art week.

"Working with Keith and Emily Cooling gave all our children and staff at Finmere a wonderful and memorable experience."

Artist Emily said: "It was a really amazing project. I've been doing this for 20 years and I'd say it was one of my favourites.

"It was lovely to end the school year on such a lovely note."

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