Darwin’s Birthday Bash Banner

Image, Darwins Birthday Banner outside The Manchester Museum

Image, Darwin's Birthday Banner outside The Manchester Museum

This past weekend, Feb 14th, I had the pleasure of working at the Museum for our Darwin’s Birthday Bash- an EXTRA Big Saturday.  It was brilliant- a lot of planning went into this day and a good time was had by all- especially the staff.

From live musical performances to kitchen science experiments there was something for everyone. The Secondary and Post 16 Learning Team made a very special contribution to this event.   We worked with 16 aspiring artists in Year 10 from Plant Hill Arts College in Blackley to create a commemorative banner for Charles Darwin’s 200th Birthday Party.

However, this was more than just a giant birthday card. For many of the students involved this was their first commissioned piece of artwork.

Kate (Our Lead Art Educator) and I went to visit the school for a full day of workshops which involved both art and science. I worked with the students to help develop their understanding of the historical context of the Origin of Species and further their understanding of how the theory of evolution by means of natural selection works.Kate worked with the students for the remainder of the day on developing their understanding of design, lettering and lay-out techniques.

The students worked in small groups to create four banners that featured a bold, eye-catching designs that visually represented Darwin / his life / his theories using objects and images from the Museum’s collection. The students had ten days to complete their work. I brought the samples back to the Museum and all of the staff were very excited about the work. After a day of debate, we selected the winning banner and I took it down to a professional printing company to have it recreated as a 12ft x 4ft outdoor banner, which was featured outside the Museum on the Darwin Extra Big Saturday

It was such a pleasure to work with the students and teachers from Plant Hill Arts College. Kate and I were really warmly received and it was a great experience for both of us.  The students who participated on this project should be very proud indeed!


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