Children’s book illustrator and author Eleanor Taylor held a virtual workshop with Year 6 children from Bishop Fitzgerald Upper Primary School, last week, which aimed to introduce pupils to the beauty of illustration. The initiative was organised by Gibraltar Cultural Services, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture as part of this year’s Youth Arts Jamboree (YAJ) programme. The traditional format for the programme was affected by the lockdown this year but online workshops and other opportunities were offered and are still being rolled out. The aim of the YAJ is to invest in young people, offering opportunities for growth and development in relation to the arts with the focus on education, engagement and ultimately to inspire.
Eleanor Taylor is best known as the creator of the Harry Potter Hogwarts crest. The workshop took place over two mornings and involved approximately 120, Year 6 students.
This year, the World Book Day theme for Year 6’s was Alice in Wonderland. As such, the workshop consisted of writing a letter from Alice to Harry Potter. The children were also shown how to create their own owl (Hedwig) which would deliver their letter to Harry Potter.
Head Teacher at Bishop Fitzgerald Upper Primary School, Lianne Parral, said: ‘“Eleanor is an inspirational illustrator who has brought Harry Potter back to our classrooms by sharing her famous illustration of the Hogwarts Crest as well as teaching the children to make their own version of Harry Potter’s Hedwig and learning calligraphy.”
Author and Illustrator, Eleanor Taylor, commented: ‘The illustration workshop with the Year 6 pupils of Bishop Fitzgerald reinforces for me that community and creativity have no physical boundaries. I might have been over 700 miles away but I could feel the energy and buzz in those classrooms. I am always grateful for the opportunity to spend time with such fabulous young people. I can’t wait to get back to Gibraltar to say hello in person and see the results of their wonderful considered work’
GCS Head of Cultural Development, Davina Barbara said “ This positive collaboration is exactly what we hope to promote and encourage with the Youth Arts Jamboree programme. Ultimately it’s about exposing young people to the Arts and supporting their growth and development. To have them working with a professional like Eleanor is fantastic, we are very grateful to her for volunteering her time and for her enthusiasm and support.”