MONA LISA Arts & Media are working with the Transformers Youth Arts Group and the following schools: Burnham Grammar, St Peter's C of E Combined, Dedworth Middle School Windsor, and All Saints C of E Maidenhead.
Each group has been on a site visit to Runnymede and the Ankerwycke Yew, learning about the significance of the Seal of the Magna Carta and seeing where it was first signed by King John and the Barons. It is thought that the Seal took place very near the Ankerwycke Yew, which is approximately 2500 years old. Each of the groups have been given a specific theme to create artworks inspired by the Magna Carta and the place where it all happened. They have all created their own Charters for Children in the 21st Century.
Pupils from St Peter's C of E School Burnham worked on their silk banners depicting scenes inspired by a timeline of "What has this tree seen" after they visited the Ankerwycke Yew at Runnymede — the place where it is thought the Magna Carta was sealed under the shade of the 2500 year old tree. The pupils looked at life in England from the Roman period to Modern Day, which spans some of the timespan of the life of the Ankerwycke Yew.
Pupils from Dedworth Middle School Windsor looked at heraldry and shields used by Knights and Barons at the time of the Magna Carta. They learned about their significance and the reasons why they were decorated using different motives, signs and symbols. They focused on and created 3D mythological creatures inspired by those found on shields of the Knights and Barons.
All Saints C of E School Maidenhead are focusing on the environment and habitat at Runnymede e.g. the water meadows, woodland and the river. They will be creating an animation which include things they saw, heard and learned about when they visited the site. The animation will have a message from the animals, birds and insects that live there, what we do and how it affects them. The children were told about the differences to the area compared to 800 years ago when the Magna Carta was sealed e.g. how the river has changed its course, more fish in the river, more wildlife in the woods, no aeroplanes flying overhead every 30 seconds, no roads cutting the site in half and so on.
The children from All Saints enjoyed themselves and found the site visits to be informative and were very impressed by the 2,500 year old Ankerwycke Yew.
Burnham Grammar School pupils are busily making their large 3D Heads and All Saints School are creating work for their short animation film. All their work is to be included in the exhibition at Royal Holloway University for the 2015 celebrations in June.
The animation film Freddie Goes To America was created by children from All Saints C of E School Maidenhead. They inspiration for their animation was focused on the three habitats at Runnymede, the river woodland and water meadows and the effects we are having on the land through pollution and litter. A story of our time.
Charter Festival at Royal Holloway University of London June 2015
MONA LISA Arts & Media were invited to take part in the Charter Festival and have work created by school groups and Transformers Youth Arts Group included in the free festival of art and ideas. The festival was a celebration of the legacy of Magna Carta with festival goers able to explore the history behind it and take a creative and critical look upon the themes of justice, freedom and rights.