Ralph Hedley trail for Children at the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead

The following blog post is by Isla Haddow who is studying a BA in Fine Art at De Montfort University, Leicester, and has completed a work placement with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

I was asked to do a trail activity for the current Ralph Hedley exhibition for the children visiting the Shipley Art Gallery to be able to do whilst going around the exhibition. So, I have been totally absorbed and occupied with that lovely task for the past couple of days.

I spent a good amount of time admiring the show, in order for me to think about which aspects of his paintings I found interesting, and which of those I could take forward to feature in a fun trail which children would enjoy and be able to engage with the art works on a different level. From here, I began simply picking out ideas such as finding, counting, and drawings things which featured within Hedley’s paintings, and planned potential layouts and tasks for the children to do.

Ralph Hedley Children's trail- a work in progress!

I felt myself thoroughly enjoying the freedom of making something for someone younger than me – enabling me to be fun and exciting through my design! In the format of a leaflet, I started assembling my ideas. Activities for the children within this trail feature the likes of “Find the painting called…”, with an activity linked to that particular painting, such as counting the number of horses, or drawing themselves as a portrait, referencing Hedley’s painting Portrait of Spence Watson, which features in the exhibition.

The trails will be available throughout the year on the front desk at the Shipley, for a donation of 50p.

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