PROMISING artists at Common-weal School were offered their first taste of commission work when they were asked to liven up the facade of Apsley House.

Year 8 and 9 students, alongside the school’s artist in residence Tracey Baker-Stewart, collaborated with Swindon Museum And Art Gallery on the Response project to lift the exterior of the Old Town venue.

Each of the ten pupils was handed an artist’s sketchbook and invited to draw inspiration from works on display at the gallery and the Swindon Collection of 20th Century British Modern Art catalogue.

As part of their research, they explored various creative methods, including potato printing, and mark-making techniques.

“They had a couple of visits to the gallery and we wanted them to respond to the art work in the Swindon collection,” said Tracey. “We chose about 24 images. We made stickers out of them and put them on the windows to liven up the building.

“I think it was successful and the children were amazing. “We became a mini art movement. “I wanted them to feel they were all valid artists and that everybody’s interpretation is valid. “There is no right or wrong way in art. “They started to loosen up and get stuck on playing and creating.

“I am extremely proud of all the students that took part. “Their enthusiasm for art and their participation in this exciting project was outstanding.”

The experience allowed students not only to explore new techniques but has been an ideal confidence-boosting exercise.

“It has made us more confident to try different things and use different materials,” said 13-year-old Asha Orme. “It was fun and there was a quite a lot of messing about to see what would happen. It was different.”

Issy Harding, 12, said: “Tracey gave us ideas first and by the end we did what we wanted to do. We had lots of different materials we could use like ink and felt.

“It would be nice to do it again but with a different objective at the end.”