Week Two

Week Two was all about storytelling and imagination. The children were asked to look again at ‘Helios’ and think about the imagery and feelings inspired by the painting and how they might use these to write their own stories.

When asked again about what they could see, the children elaborated on their observations from last week, discussing them as a group and sharing their ideas with their peers. They picked out specific colours from the painting, noticing reds, blues, yellows, pinks and whites, and said all of these colours made them think of a rainbow. They also saw a lot of water, pointing to the white paint and sharing that this was a “white waterfall” or a “bridge over the water”. Last week’s lion also made a return, with one child observing that the lion “wants to go to the waterfall because he wants to go in the water”. Others saw tunnels and aeroplanes, and one child mentioned they had seen jelly, an observation shared by another child who liked the painting because they like to eat jelly!

When asked how the painting made them feel, most children said “happy” because of the bright colours used in the piece. One child said it was the colour yellow in particular that made them happy, and another elaborated on the feeling by saying it made them feel like they were having a party in their home. Others linked their feelings directly to their observations, for example one child said the picture made them feel happy because they had recognised a bridge and they “like bridges”.

Using the ideas sparked by the painting and their discussion, the children then went on to write their own collaborative stories featuring illustrations reflecting the imagery inspired by ‘Helios’. Read their stories below!

How can you help?

We would love our parents to take another look at ‘Helios’ at home and consider what you can see, as well as how it makes you feel. Using your thoughts as inspiration, write your own short stories (no word count, write as little or as much as you like!) inspired by the artwork for us to read with the children!

Stories can be emailed to brightbeginnings@leeds.ac.uk with the subject line “Arty Beginnings – Week Two”.

Photo credit: Leeds Museums and Galleries © the artist’s estate.