Young artists create African-themed chalk design in Sunderland

Artist, Ian Potts working with after school club pupils at Mill Hill Primary to create a giant chalk picture to celebrate the Lion King coming to Sunderland.
Artist, Ian Potts working with after school club pupils at Mill Hill Primary to create a giant chalk picture to celebrate the Lion King coming to Sunderland.
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LITTLE lions are roaring with pride after their chalk-in with an artist.

Sunderland artist Ian Potts helped kids from Mill Hill Primary School in Doxford Park, Sunderland, create an African-themed chalk drawing.

Once complete, the huge picture will be taken to Sunderland’s African Festival, which starts this weekend.

Ian said: “The title of the piece, We Are All Looking at the Same Moon, comes from an old saying, but I actually found out about it by listening to a song by Imelda May called Meet Me at the Moon.

“I have thought about the links between Africa and my hometown of Sunderland. First to be included in the drawing are the animals. I have an old postcard showing the cliff along our wonderful coastline before the seawall was built.

“It features a cliff on the corner near Holey Rock which looks uncannily like a huge elephant. There are also a few elephants to be seen in Fawcett Street - although they appear to look more like the Indian variety - by standing at the junction of High Street and Fawcett Street and looking at the Elephant Tearoom building.”

Year three and four students from the school’s after-school club took part in the creative challenge.

Head teacher Alison Middleton said: “It is great to have a local artist come in and work with the children.”

The launch of Sunderland’s first African festival coincides with Disney’s The Lion King opening at the Sunderland Empire this week.

Hosted at Sunderland Minister, Friday’s festivities will include traditional African drumming and dance performances from the professional theatre act The Mighty Zulu Nation, which will be accompanied by Fairtrade stalls offering a selection of ethnic goods, African-inspired cocktails and rich cuisine from the continent.

On the Saturday events will take place at the minister from 11am to 11pm.

Visitors will have the chance to get up close to African animals from Discovery Zoo, while further performances from The Mighty Zulu Nation and Sunderland group Dance Jam will take place throughout the day.