PICTURE GALLERY: Norwich school pupils turn creative critics

A city classroom was transformed into an art gallery as pupils showed off their own works while taking a look at sculptures made by their fellow classmates and writing their views on Post-it notes.

The exercise at Catton Grove Primary yesterday was part of a Norfolk and Norwich Festival project called Seeing, Doing, Knowing, which aims to encourage children to think about what art can be and to speak with confidence about what they think of it. Ultimately, the year six children, plus pupils from White Woman Lane School, will have a chance to be real-life art critics and to review three events taking place at this year's festival.

Youngsters from the Catton Grove group said the project was helping them to see that art was all around them. Many pupils said it had helped them to enjoy art more, too.

Pupil Patrycja Karas, 11, had created a sculpture of a microphone for the exercise. 'I was trying to make people think about music and how it can make people feel: how you can get sad and happy music,' she said. Patrycja added that one of the interesting things she found about having her sculpture reviewed was that others saw things in her work that she had not seen herself. 'Somebody put that they could see a face, and I had not seen that before: that was quite exciting,' she said.

Stephen Lane, 10, had made a sculpture of a scrunched-up ball which he said represented anger about people dying because of war. He said his classmates had had different reactions to his work, with some saying it was like a fantasy sculpture and others asking what it was meant to be.

At the festival in May, the children will review Chouf Ouchouf at the Theatre Royal, the Britten Sinfonia A Day Out With Mr Big children's concert at St Andrew's Hall and a visual arts trail around Norwich.

Are you involved in an exciting new art project? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk