Over the course of the next few months children aged 5-14 years old from five Kent Coastal Alliance schools will travel to Turner Contemporary in Margate to work with artists, dancers, photographers, archivists and ceramicists as they explore, learn and create artworks around the local story of the Pudding Pan Pots.

This is the start of a very special experience for the children. They have never done anything like this before and I think it will really inspire them, and surprise them in what they can do with their creativity

Stella Fry, Art & Design Co-ordinator, Whitstable Junior School

Kent School Children Take Over Turner Contemporary

The school children visited the gallery for the first time in October and explored the exhibition on Roman Samian Ware pottery, found near Pudding Pan Rock along the coast near Whitstable. They learnt how in the 18th century fishermen brought ashore these Roman bowls, plates and cups thought to be from a shipwreck, and they became known as the Pudding Pan Pots. The pottery found by the fishermen was sometimes used by local families to cook in and eat.

Working with a number of local cultural partners inside the gallery, the children participated in a series of different workshops - taking on the role of detective by charting the voyage of the Roman ship from the French coast to its eventual resting place, handling collections, creating their own pots using pinch and slab building techniques, and embossing and stamping their pots with decorative marks just like Roman potters did.

Continuing the project in school

Over the next few weeks, the pupils will create decorations to go on a collaborative large school pot, inspired by what they learnt at the gallery. The school pots will then be added into a sculpture representing the pottery treasures of a shipwrecked Roman galley. The children’s work will go on public display at Turner Contemporary from 15th November – 4th December.

It has allowed us to connect with local schools that haven’t had the opportunity to visit the gallery before and given hundreds of children the chance to engage with their local history in a creative way

Jennifer Scott, Schools Officer, Turner Contemporary

The Start programme is about making a positive impact on children and young people’s lives through engagement and participation in the arts. As well as being fun, engagement with the arts at a young age often leads to greater success in later life and helps children and young people to develop an understanding of their own worth and abilities.

This project was supported by Artswork, the South East Bridge, as well as Southeastern trains who provided free train travel for all participating students.

Through their world-class galleries and network of local cultural partners, Turner Contemporary are able to offer children and teachers an exciting opportunity to experience and engage with great art and culture. Artswork is really pleased to be supporting this project, and we look forward to learning from, and sharing the impact of, Start over the next three years

Jane Bryant, Chief Executive, Artswork