Hackney schoolchildren help set world record with picture of Queen

Delighted children in South Hackney celebrated their success yesterday (Tuesday June 12) when they were presented with a Guinness World Record.

Youngsters at Lauriston Primary School, Rutland Road, were part of a national effort to beat the record for the greatest number of artists working on the same installation.

Every child in the country aged 4-16 was invited to create a self portrait to be incorporated into giant digital images of the Queen, projected onto the front of Buckingham Palace to mark her birthday on April 22.

Organised by The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, based in Shoreditch, over 200,000 youngsters drew themselves for the project, smashing the previous record of 28,267 participants held by Israel.

Lauriston pupils were involved from the beginning, working with the charity to create the project. Six of them travelled to Buckingham Palace to launch the royal light show.

Deputy Head Peter Sanders said: “The children loved it. What they really liked was knowing that what they were doing was going towards something countrywide.”

Pupils’ self portraits included sculptures, photos, collages and computer images and masks.

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Children and the Arts Chief Executive Jeremy Newton said the project was “sensational”.

“The artwork was amazing. Usually we work with disadvantaged children but because it was 2012 our president, the Prince of Wales, challenged us to do something involving a huge number of children.”

Ross Ashton, the projection artist who created the Queen’s image from individual self portraits, said: “I had the idea of making an animated mosaic. The challenge was that there could have been up to 10 million portraits. We had to have a solution which could handle that. I was determined that every child’s portrait was going to be part of it.”

He created 32 versions of the Queen’s face, each made of 6,400 self portraits.

“What I hope is that the children will feel for the rest of their lives that they have helped break a world record. and they will feel proud of that.”