In October 2012, York Minster launched an art and history project for Key Stage 2 pupils in local schools. Each school took part in an introduction session, an exclusive visit to York Minster, and a day of creating, interpreting, understanding and learning new techniques to produce art work to go into an exhibition.

The schools involved were:

Tang Hall Primary
Derwent Primary
Clifton Green Primary
Haxby Road Primary

Tang Hall Primary School
October 2012

Tang Hall Primary School focused on the South Transept of the Minster, exploring the Rose Window.

The Rose Window was made to commemorate the end of the ‘War of the Roses’. The War of the Roses were a series of wars fought between supporters of the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England.

Several wars were fought between 1455 and 1485 with the final victory being won by the Lancastrian Henry Tudor, who defeated the last Yorkist King; Richard III. Henry later went on to marry Elizabeth of York, which united the two houses.

Using the Rose Window as inspiration for their art work, Tang Hall explored themes of friendship, what it means and how we celebrate it. Pupils designed their own rose windows with the idea of friendship connecting in two circles. Pupils created a final window in the form of a cell made from a circle of willow designed to tell us something about their friendships. They used specific artistic techniques and processes such as printing, painting and collage to transform ideas into designs for their cells.

‘The children have all really enjoyed the project. Their communication skills, through both art and interaction with peers have shown a distinct improvement. All of the children display overt pride in the work they have produced - they are keen to explain (to anyone who will listen!) the project and show off what they have done.’ Fiona McCallion, Teacher from Tang Hall Primary School.

Derwent Infant and Junior School
November 2012

Derwent Infant and Junior School focused on the East End of the Minster, exploring the Great East Window and The Orb.

The Great East Window tells the story of creation; depicting the beginning and end of the world, as told in the Books of Genesis and Revelation in the Bible.

Over the next five years the scenes from the Book of Revelation in this extraordinary window will be conserved and returned with protective glazing, as part of the York Minster Revealed project. In the meantime The Orb is an exciting new visitor attraction in the Minster, showcasing five real conserved panels of some of the world’s most important medieval art.

Using the Great East Window as inspiration for their art work, Derwent Infant and Juniors explored the theme of creation. Pupils worked with light, earth and water to design images that told of the first seven days of creation.

Pupils were also given a special tour of the Bedern Glaziers Studio near York Minster, giving them the opportunity to get close to panels of the Great East Window being conserved. This allowed them to see real conservation in action and to meet some of the experts entrusted with this awe-inspiring project.

‘The project has provided a first-time, first-hand experience for the children as many of them had never visited York Minster before. The visit has enriched their educational experience both in terms of helping to develop their awareness of local heritage and also, subtly, Christian beliefs/practices and religion generally.’ Tom Holder, Teacher from Derwent Infant and Junior School.

Clifton Green Primary School
January 2013

Clifton Green Primary School focused on the West End of the Minster, exploring the Great West Window.

The Great West Window is also known as the ‘Heart of Yorkshire’. This window reinforces the divine hierarchy of the Church with the upper rows illustrating the principal events in Mary’s life including Annunciation; Nativity; Resurrection and Ascension. The middle row depicts the Apostles and beneath this are previous Archbishops of York, including Archbishop Melton who commissioned the window. Using the Great West Window as inspiration for their art work, pupils discussed and interpreted the hierarchy of the church in relation to themselves.

Pupils explored personal hierarchies and mapped out these ideas in a heart design. Pupils created a final window in the form of a cell made from a circle of willow constructed with the four chambers of the heart filled with designs of the four elements; Air, Earth, Water and Fire. The elements were made from drawn images, multi-media pieces and text.

‘The children experienced visiting the Minster and developed an understanding of the importance of this landmark. The children’s knowledge of history and art improved through object handling and the use of new media.’ Danielle Neville, Teacher from Clifton Green Primary School.

Haxby Road Primary School
March 2013

Haxby Road Primary School focused on the North Transept of the Minster, exploring the Five Sisters Window.

The Five Sisters Window contains the largest amount of Early English ‘grisaille’ - or grey glass to be found in a single window anywhere in the world. It consists of five lancets, each of which is 50 feet high and 5 feet wide, and it contains more than 100,000 pieces of glass. Each lancet repeats a different geometric shape, and it is thought to have been influenced by Islamic patterns and designs.

Using the Five Sisters Window as inspiration for their art work, pupils developed an understanding of how small pieces of coloured glass are arranged to form intricate patterns and designs. Pupils talked about the connections that the Five Sisters Window has to other faiths. Pupils were inspired by the patterns to construct five lancets using the basic design principles - balance, emphasis and movement. Pupils constructed their final works using a variety of art forms with geometric shapes inside.

'It was a great privilege to take part in such a unique project. The children all really enjoyed the experience and gained an incredible insight into their heritage. They produced amazing work which we are all very proud of.’ Stasia Jackson, Teacher from Haxby Road Primary School.

About the artist:

Griselda Goldbrough

Specialist Artforms:

Textile and Surface Pattern, Writing, Fine Art and Mixed Media.

Arts education and outreach:

Griselda has over ten years’ experience in devising and managing creative art, science, literature and music workshops within York schools. She has enjoyed creating murals, fabrics, screens, books, sculptures and poetry with pupils.

As Curator of Arts Learning, at York Art Gallery, including formal (core educational provision for children 5 to 18 years) and informal (partnerships, individuals and community groups), Griselda has developed and implemented a range of opportunities, programmes and products to encourage lifelong learning. She has curated exhibitions and delivered art sessions and events in a wide variety of settings throughout York and within the Yorkshire region.

Griselda is co-creator of Spike and Sponge, a creative North Yorkshire partnership, which brings artists, arts and events to community settings and festivals. For the last three years she has worked for the Deer Shed festival bringing together some of the best and most creative artists from across the region.

Personal work:

As a professional artist Griselda creates images and objects, such as collages, books and boxes, which interpret and investigate memory, science, vision, words, landscape and the senses. She loves using print making, fabrics, found objects, drawing and language in her work.  

York Minster Revealed

This project is part of York Minster Revealed Community Engagement work, enticing new audiences into the Minster.