Mural of many styles

19th March 2004 at 00:00
I recently decided to do a mural with my GCSE art and design class. Each of my 22 students produced a design representing a subject taught in the school. They were asked to choose an artist or art movement and paint their panel in that style. They were encouraged not to take the chosen work too literally, but to make a picture that represented the subject imaginatively. I chose the subject that each person would do, based on my knowledge of the student, and gave them a fairly free hand - although I drew the line at a portrait of Jennifer Lopez to represent music and encouraged the student who was doing geography to do something more imaginative than maps. The paintings and collages varied a great deal. To represent drama there was a painting of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, with little sticks for the thatched roof and "All the World's a Stage" emblazoned on it. This was in the style of Van Gogh.

There was also a swimming pool theme in the style of David Hockney for PE, graffiti artwork for citizenship, and a panel of John Lennon in the style of Andy Warhol for music. The students responded amazingly well to being given responsibility to produce individual works. They were very enthusiastic: one evening we were still painting after school hours and decided to hold a pizza painting party. Everyone contributed to varnishing the work, which was also done outside school hours. The mural, which took three months to complete, is now on two walls in the heart of the school, next to the headteacher's office.

Saira Knowles, art teacher, Stretford Grammar School, Manchester

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today