Office block? No, it’s a school in Mile End which National Theatre artist Steve Peters underlines in paint

Artist Steve Peters working on turning Solebay Primary into looking something more like a school. Pi

Artist Steve Peters working on turning Solebay Primary into looking something more like a school. Picture: Paradigm Trust - Credit: Paradigm Trust

You could walk past Solebay primary academy in Mile End and not realise it’s a school.

Here's making what looks like plain offices in Mile End into what this building really is... a place

Here's making what looks like plain offices in Mile End into what this building really is... a place for children's education. Picture: Paradigm Trust - Credit: Paradigm Trust

It looks more like an office block where you’d normally find people at their desks if it wasn’t for the latest Lockdown.

So the school hired an artist who’s been on furlough from the National Theatre to make the functional building in Solebay Street, by the Regent’s Canal opposite Mile End Park, look more like a place of learning than a place of commerce.

But artist Steve Peters, who normally dabs paint for scenes on stage at The National when he’s not on furlough, didn’t just hop up a ladder with his pallet.

Mural over the entrance to Solebay Primary school. Picture: Paradigm Trust

Mural over the entrance to Solebay Primary school. Picture: Paradigm Trust - Credit: Paradigm Trust

He organised a workshop with history teacher Krisan Shukla and got the kids from Year 5 and Year 6 to design the characters from history that he could put in the mural—like the Tudors’ Henry VIII and an Anglo-Saxon worrier from pre-Norman times.


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Paradigm Trust’s Solebay Primary principal Janet Baker said: “It’s a shame the arts suffer during the pandemic, but we’re lucky to have found Steven.

“We’re not like a traditional school building, so hopefully the mural that’s been a fantastic project for our pupils will help us engage more with the community.”

Year 5 and Year 6 pupils design characters from history for their school mural. Picture: Paradigm Tr

Year 5 and Year 6 pupils design characters from history for their school mural. Picture: Paradigm Trust - Credit: Paradigm Trust

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Word has it that the kids are so thrilled with their new mural that Steve has been asked to come back and start work for another mural in the school hall itself.

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