Paintings to inspire next year’s Children’s Parade

Posted On 02 Nov 2017 at 10:40 am

The theme for next year’s Children’s Parade is Paintings, it has been revealed.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night is one of the paintings selected to inspire the parade


Each school will be allocated a painting from a selection which have been chosen to reflect the diversity of artists worldwide. There’s an extraordinary range of artists from around the world being considered by schools at the moment, ranging from African, Asian and Japanese paintings, to Lichtenstein’s Whaam!, Whistler’s Mother, and Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.

The paintings will be studied and explored in detail in the schools before being presented in costume, music and carnival structures on the streets in May.

Teachers have taken some ideas away with them from an event yesterday, and will now think about how they can interpret the paintings and how it might fit in with their curriculum.

They then talk more with Same Sky about how the ideas can be turned into costumes and props for the parade, which officially launches the festival on Saturday, May 5.

The largest of its kind in Europe, the parade is attended by around 5,000 children from schools and community groups from across the city and surrounding areas.

Whistler’s Mother


A different theme is chosen each year, and last time participants donned costumes ranging from cats and clowns to The Giant Jam Sandwich in homage the theme of Poetry in Motion, chosen by 2017’s guest director Kate Tempest.

The 2018 theme is inspired by next year’s guest director, visual artist David Shrigley. Best known for his distinctive drawing style and works that make satirical comments on the absurdity of 21st-century society, his work also spans an extensive range of media including sculpture, large-scale installation, animation, painting, photography and music.

Shrigley’s Really Good, a seven-metre- high elongated bronze sculpture of a thumbs-up, is the current incumbent of Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth.

Pippa Smith, Brighton Festival’s children and family programmer says: “We were so impressed by the way that schools took their poems to heart last year and we believe that the same will happen with the paintings.

“The works will be studied and explored and become part of the school culture between November and May. This in-depth exploration of a work of art is something that most people don’t have the opportunity to do until they go to art school.”

John Varah, Artistic Director, Same Sky said: “Same Sky is very excited by the 2018 Guest Director David Shrigley and his theme for the parade. We will be working with 70 Brighton and Hove schools to create the parade and enable the children to hit the street with dazzling costumes, puppets and sounds.

“Same Sky once again thanks Brighton Festival forgiving us this great opportunity to work with nearly every school in our wonderfully creative city.”

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