20th April 2001 at 01:00
Blowing raspberries, gurning and sticking their tongues out, Year 7 pupils from St Dunstan's College, Catford, helped win their art teacher, Kay Vinson, one of the top teaching prizes in the London Institute's annual Young at Art awards. Taking a cardboard box as their starting point, the pupils sculpted papier-mache portraits of each other as gargoyles for a project on medieval art. These latter-day gremlins can be seen at the London Institute, tel: 020 7514 6000, until May 1, as part of this year's Young at Art exhibition.

It is a stunning show, featuring some exuberant artworks. Matthew Walters, 15, from Swakeleys and Abbotsfield schools' combined sixth form in Uxbridge, made a human interior with 3-D ribcage and heart following a class trip to the Hayward Gallery's Spectacular Bodies show; while the Hayward's exhibition of flying machines by Belgian artist, Panamarenko, provided part of the inspiration for Wilf Thurst and his Year 10 pupils at the German school in Richmond, west London. Inventive course materials which considered human flight from the Greek myths to the present day, resulted in a squadron of wacky, wearable flying machines, including a pink Barbie mobile and an aerial fishing boat, to win Thurst a teacher's award.

Susannah Fone, co-ordinator of the Young at Art awards, is keen to attract more entries in the younger age groups (11 to 19-year-olds from schools in London are eligible) and in the Digital Art and New Media category next year. She also wants to encourage more teachers to enter in their own right. Entry forms will be available in September. Contact Susannah on: 020 7514 6238; email:;

There's further inspiration for art teachers in an exhibition of sculptures by Lucy Casson, Looking Through a Cheese Grater, at the Charlotte Street Gallery, London, until May 5, tel: 020 7255 2828. Casson creates quizzical anthropomorphic comic characters out of coloured tin, wood and wire.

Hubble's Unverse is a collection of awe-inspiring giant photographs taken by the Hubble space telescope, on show at the Blue Gallery, near London's Barbican, until May 12, tel:020 7490 3833. It is worth turning up just for the stunning free poster for under-16s of the Eagle Nebula, showing newborn stars twinkling free from the freezing interstellar gas and dust which incubated them in towering pillars. A larger show tours to Falmouth Art Gallery in mid-July. Visit the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore at

Collaborations between artists and scientists are generating a fascinating body of new work. Research and production grants announced last week from the Sci-Art consortium (funded jointly by organisations including the Arts Council, the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, and the Wellcome Trust) will fund projects such as films of the swarming patterns of the Highland midge, reconstructions of prehistoric musical instruments and performances based on the psychological tricks employed by conjurers; while the Irish artist, Dorothy Cross, continues her study of the Edwardian amateur marine biologist, Maude Delap, and the world's deadliest jellyfish. Visit and

The Almeida Theatre's education and community work moves into an abandoned hospital ward for a production running from April 27-May 5. Drawing on interviews with patients, parents, doctors and nurses in a number of London hospitals, Ghost Ward, directed by Ben Harrison, incorporates movement, music and story-telling to examine the triumph of human will in the face of adversity. The promenade staging is at St Andrew's Hospital, Bow, with professional actors working with 20 young people from seven local schools. The Almeida will provide a free bus service from its new theatre space in King's Cross to St Andrew's, leaving at 7pm and returning at about 9.30pm. Box office: 020 7359 4404. Tickets cost pound;5.

Judith Palmer

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