St Paul’s Church of England Primary School
Caring for all. Growing with God

Trip to visit Johnsons Island


On Friday, a group of children from Reception and Key Stage 1 visited Johnsons Island in Brentford.  Johnsons Island is an artists’ colony on a tiny island on the Grand Union Canal.  The island was once used as the old station master and lock keeper’s offices.

Sarah Stanley showed her beautiful mosaics to the children.  Sarah demonstrated her cutting tools and the children touched the smooth pieces of stone used to make her mosaics.  We also admired Sarah’s shelves holding a collection of mosaic stones in all the different colours.  The shelves reminded us of a sweet shop!

The children were fascinated to visit Sam Dodson and enjoyed interpreting his collages.  Lorraine Hudson talked to the children about how she created her artwork.  The children really loved all the colours and designs.

We visited James Bissell-Thomas’ studio, where he showed us how he makes his globes.  The children and adults in the group were fascinated by Alice’s globe.  This globe shows how the characters of Lewis Carroll‘s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’ match the constellations.  For example, Tweedledum and Tweedledee are Gemini.

We visited Jackie Burton‘s studio.  Just outside the studio’s window, the children watched a Canada goose sitting on her eggs waiting for them to hatch.  They were careful to talk quietly so as not to scare her.  They suggested names for the goose, which included ‘Daisy’, ‘Lily’, ‘Candy’ and ‘Maltesers’.

The children climbed up to a studio and met Peter Berry,  who was in the middle of painting a raspberry.  The children were captivated and asked how he mixed his paints.  Vicki Cooke talked to the children about how she had painted a self portrait using a mirror.  The children were very curious and asked how long the paintings took.  We decided that it would be difficult for a child to sit still all day as a model!

We all had a great adventure climbing a spiral staircase to visit Max A Hatter.  Max showed us how he makes his turbanesque hats and the children tried one on.  Max told us that the phrase ‘mad as a hatter’ comes from the mercury poisoning the hatters experienced when they used mercury to make felt in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Before we left, the children had the opportunity to make some mosaics for themselves using paper.  If you would like to make paper mosaics at home, click here.

We really did step into a magical wonderland when we visited Johnsons Island.  Please visit the gallery to view all the photos from the trip.  Thank you so much to all the artists we visited!

Trip to visit Johnsons Island
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