Young artists give Jack's vision a new life
CHILDREN as young as three helped to reproduce a celebrated vision of Stoke-on-Trent by an artist renowned for his Potteries pictures.
More than 45 youngsters re-created Jack Clarkson's View of Hanley – by copying one of 60 squares from the work yesterday.
Their efforts have now been hung together on a giant canvas, which has gone on show at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.
The museum, in Bethesda Street, Hanley, also holds the original.
The children were taking part in a nationwide series of events to celebrate the completion of Your Paintings, a website showing Britain's national collection of oil paintings.
Alison Tinning, aged 37, who used to teach art at the museum, took her two daughters, Eve, aged three and Thora, aged six, to contribute to the painting.
She said: "It looks amazing. It's like a big jigsaw.
"My kids love painting so I had to take them to the museum.
"The gallery is always involved in great national projects and this one allows children to see some really important pieces of art."
Claire Abdulrahaman, aged 30, from Birches Head, took her daughter Ayisha, aged four, to the museum to paint a square of the canvas.
She said: "It is a great community event, where children can get involved.
"They love painting and it's a lovely historic picture."
While members of the public contributed to the Big Art Canvas by painting part of a work of art for free the award-winning artist Will Kemp was on hand to offer help and advice during the day.
The museum's collections officer Jean Milton said the event had been a big success.
"The idea is to reinvigorate interest and to bring it to the public's attention," she said.
"It has been really popular. I am pleased with the response, most children who painted a square have been under the age of 11 and they have embraced the idea.
"The day was really busy with a constant flow of people.
"We have had a lot of support from the Public Catalogue Foundation and Staffordshire artists."
The Your Paintings website features work from 44 museums, galleries and public buildings in Staffordshire. The collection, which is held in 3,000 galleries, museums and other civic buildings around the country, spans more than 600 years of art history.
They include major attractions such as Lichfield Cathedral and Tamworth Castle, alongside hospitals, magistrate's courts, schools, colleges, civic offices and libraries.
Andrew Ellis, from the Public Catalogue Foundation, said: 'No other country has ever embarked on such a project to make accessible online its entire collection of oil paintings. The result is an extraordinary rich and varied virtual gallery of paintings with styles and subject matters to suit all tastes and interests.
"Anyone can now contribute to the project by tagging paintings so that the paintings can be searched in future."
Taken together, the Your Paintings website collection consists of 211,861 paintings, by more than 37,000 artists.
The National Trust is the largest single collection featured on the website with 12,567 paintings.
However, approximately half of the collections on the site have 10 or fewer paintings.
The vast majority of the collection has never been photographed before.
All 211,861 paintings are now available to view online at www.bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings.