In 2005 The Weekend Academy initiated a visual arts partnership with 19 young people outside mainstream education, from five pupil support and referral units in North London.

Artists Oreet Ashery, Janey Hagger and Stephen Wilson led a painting project, working with a group of each of KS3 and KS4 students, assisted by Byam Shaw students. Participants spent a full day in Byam Shaw’s drawing studios, preceded by a healthy breakfast in the Byam Shaw café. Each participant developed a large-scale portrait painting, developing skills in drawing, painting and collage during the process.

“I don’t want to be the waste man on the block...I want to be the one who chases his dreams”

yrics written & recorded by student for his animation film


In 2006, participants who had shown particular aptitude were invited back to participate in an animation project led by Oreet Ashery and Douglas Ebbage. Participants developed individual and group animations of great power and detail. Some wrote lyrics and music to accompany their animations.

Each series of workshops concluded with an informal exhibition of the students’ work to present their achievements to their friends and family, and to staff and other students at the PRUs, as well as to Byam Shaw students and staff.

The Art is great! project was disseminated widely to Pupil Referral Units, artists and educators in 2008 through a final exhibition, day seminar and publication of two teacher's workbooks for simple animation and large-scale portrait-painting courses, developed from the workshops.

Art is great! image

WKD Access all areas


Schools and youth Schools and youth link

Art is great!

Animation project Animation project link

Animation pack Animation pack link

Painting pack Painting pack link

Exhibition archive Exhibition archive link

Animation archive Animation archive link

Calouste Culbenkian Foundation logo


Partner organisation websites:

Oreet Ashery