Year 3 Tate Museum Project

The Year 3 students at Hampton Court House have been lucky enough to take part in a large collaborative art installation. Steve McQueen, Oscar winning film director, together with Tate, Artangel and A New Direction, are working to photograph every Year 3 primary school class across the whole of London. The class photos will be brought together into a single large-scale installation, capturing tens of thousands of Year 3 school children in a milestone year in their development.

The photographer who visited our school was called David Lennon and he first talked with the Year 3 children about photography as art. He asked them if they knew who Steve McQueen was and if they knew about the planned art installation, such as how many rooms in Tate Britain will be used to display all of the school class photographs (answer: 4). He told us that so far 1,200 schools across London have signed up to be part of the project.
David then showed the children his camera equipment. He asked them what they like to take photographs of and why, and he talked through what makes a photograph interesting and how to read a picture. He talked about the similarities and differences that you might be able to see in the final Year 3 class photos from other schools.
The children had prepared lots of interesting questions to ask David, such as “How many schools have you been to already?”, “What is your favourite thing to take photographs of?”, and “Can we have the best spot for our photo in the art gallery?”! David was more than happy to talk about the project itself, as well as various questions about his life as a professional photographer, his Welsh background and his love of football.

After a brief exercise where the children were asked to move about and demonstrate a range of emotions, David then began to organise everybody for the photograph. He had measured the distance from the stage to the bench and measured the distance from the bench to the camera, in order that all of the photographs taken for the project will have a sense of continuity. He organised the children according to similar heights and the colours of the clothes that they were wearing, in order to create a sense of symmetry and pattern.

If you would like to see the finished photograph, keep your eye out next year for the exhibition which will be at Tate Britain.