East End kids back to school with their portraits on playground wall

Children returning to school for the new term in London’s East End will be greeted by murals that they helped create and self portraits which have all appeared on the playground walls during the summer holiday.

Youngsters at Shadwell’s Bigland Green Primary designed and helped make mosaics of animals and people—including a Pearly king and queen.

The mosaics were cemented into the wall outside the school by members of Artyface community organisation, led by professional artist Maud Milton.

“Maud and her team were great to work with,” said Bigland Green’s art coordinator Sally Mansfield. “The whole school enjoyed working with them.”

Her pupils really got into the spirit of the mosaics.

Amal, aged nine, said: “I loved doing the gluing and ripping the squares and the noise of the thing we used to cut the squares—clip clop.”

But Classmate Safwan found it hard: “My hands got sticky and I was worried I would lose the little pieces—but luckily nothing got lost.”

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The school is unveiling the mosaics on Wednesday, with artists Olivia Fletcha and Clement Riches.

The Artyface team from Trinity Buoy Wharf in Blackwall also put up wooden hexagons and diamonds at Bethnal Green’s Globe Primary school playground with self-portraits the children had painted last term.

The artists erected two wooden huts to give the school “a proper arty makeover.”