Children from a Lynn primary school had a day in the stately surroundings of Houghton Hall on Tuesday to learn more about ‘land art’.
Youngsters from Fairstead Primary School took a trip to the hall for the BeLong project, which aims to give children an appreciation of art and its interaction with nature.
The Heritage Lottery Fund gave a grant of £73,300 to the BeLong project and Karen Chancellor, grants officer for HLF, visited Houghton on the day to see the project herself.
She said: “I think the workshops have been very inspired and are a tremendous gateway into heritage and the arts for young people, and at the end of the day they are the future custodians of our heritage.
“They wouldn’t have got this opportunity but for the people who play the National Lottery.
“Seeing the children’s faces when they went into the building was fabulous. It is getting people involved and learning about heritage.
“Hopefully some of them will go home and tell their families and come back, so it is family learning as well.”
The youngsters enjoyed a variety of exhibitions and sculptures at the hall.
Lance Graham, 11, said he liked the ‘Words Walk’ to the Wilderness Dreaming sculpture.
“During the Words Walk we were writing down the things we saw and then we sat down and read out thoughts to each other.
“The Richard Long sculptures are very inspiring and quite strange in their own way. They are very different to sculptures I have seen before.”
Alina Durilova, 11, said: “I liked walking around the sculptures and then putting our own words into spirals.
“We learned about Richard Long before we came so I knew he was a famous artist and he makes really nice sculptures.”
Fiona Roberts, BeLong project co-ordinator, said the children had walked to Richard Long’s Wilderness Dreaming sculpture with the project writer Annetta Berry.
Along the way, they thought about how they felt and what they could see, collecting words as they walked because Richard Long collects thoughts as he walks.
When they got to the sculpture they did a hop, skip and jump around it to feel part of it, she said.
Then they used the words they collected for ideas about where they belong, where they feel home is and how they connect to Norfolk.
After working with Annetta, they then worked with artist Kate Munro using letters written onto slate, and then they made their own visual work using these to describe things they had discovered in their first session.
“It’s a different workshop for each different key stage that comes – and each age group works on a different sculpture.
“One group would work on A Line in Norfolk and use potatoes grown in the county to produce their own visual work, while another group works on the White Deer Circle and they think about upside down worlds because the tree stumps are sticking out of the ground.
“They are given mirrors and look down into them to see what the world is like above them.”