Titchmarsh Primary/Warmington School

‘Sharing Day’ Mural


‘I wrote it for breakfast, recorded it for lunch and we’re putting it out for dinner’

The words of John Lennon, and the story, as he told it, about how the song ‘Instant Karma’ was produced. It’s slightly inaccurate. It was written and recorded in a single day, Tuesday 27 January 1970, but not actually released until 13 days later however this detail is irrelevant.

The point he was making was to stress the speed achieved within a working timeframe from concept to realisation. An improvised idea was developed and manipulated, then embellished into a finished item which retained the energy and spontaneity with which it was produced. He successfully captured a moment in time as compelling today as the day it was written. Although it is not always the case, sometimes the best results can be achieved when working with impulse and allowing serendipity to play its part.

Once upon a time, in a world long ago, I worked in a design office. The name above the door, ‘Fast Art Fast Print’, reflected the nature of the activity inside the building. The nature of the job was to produce good quality design into print, and quickly. To steal a well known advertising slogan, it did exactly what it said on the tin. They were good days and the first time I’d worked in a graphic environment. The design process was alien to me, I was on a very steep learning curve but soon recognised the demands of the commercial world, and it has influenced my working method ever since.

My aforementioned graphic background and the ever-present influence of Lennon, as well as my previous experience of such large scale painting, was worth its weight in gold with this ‘Bigger Picture’ project. I received a ‘late notice’ email to ask if I was available and if I would like to be involved. The next day a telephone conversation outlined details for the ‘Sharing Day’ project and the following day painting began. Not exactly ‘Designed at Breakfast, Painting by Lunch and Finished for Dinner’ – but it came pretty close.

The mural was completed in two working days. Six different groups of children, arriving at 40 minute intervals, played their part on the first day; some worked with felt pens on paper with a view to creating a large graphic picture, others used stencils and painted directly onto the wall with their fingers. My role initially was as adviser and guide in order that the basic composition took shape, then as artist to complete the image, tidy and clarify previously painted marks as appropriate and to include some lettering.

The finished painting is a success as a co-operative project and works as an illustration of a particularly special day on the school calendar. On Friday 18th October, Titchmarsh Primary and Warmington School joined together to engage in a ‘Sharing Day’ involving Painting, Poetry, Science, Music, Numeracy and Physical activities. The mural is certainly a reflection of the energy, enthusiasm, exuberance and effort of that fast paced day. A moment in time, captured in paint. Instant Karma? I’d say.

SLATER-MondayPMMonday – PM