19 May


This week we welcomed James Parker, a printmaking sculptor, to work as an Artist in Residence at SPW. James specialises in set design so we’ve taken this opportunity to collaborate with him in preparing props for the upcoming Lion King Musical debuting later this year.

We asked Jessica Hancock, Visual Art teacher at SPW, to talk to us about the exciting opportunity our students have to work with James.

Can you tell us about James Parker, the Artist in Residence?

James Parker is a print making sculptor who works in schools, as well as working commercially and in the film industry.

James’ student workshops are designed to enhance awareness of various art forms and develop skills in the use of art techniques and materials.

Eric Gittins has also joined with James this week. He is running demonstrations with the students and is concentrating on building the elephant for the Lion King Musical.


James Parker working with Year 4 students.

What opportunities will the children have whilst James is working at SPW this week?

With the Lion King Musical taking place later this year, we are supporting the visual aspects required for the production. The Year 4 -7 students will be making the set, puppets, head dresses and props for the musical.

What are you hoping to achieve whilst James is here?

The week has been designed for students to have the opportunity to work with a professional artist whilst contributing to the needs of the school production. Giving students activities with real-life purpose is exciting and meaningful.


Year 4 students working on props for the Lion King Musical. It’s messy work so they’re wearing casual clothes and having fun.

Across different year levels students will experience how design is used when trying to solve problems and create solutions. We will look at different visual aspects and requirements of the musical and decide how we will create products that meet a specific brief.

What are you looking forward to the most about working with James?

It’s exciting that students will be able to work with a professional artist. For the younger students it means having access to the specialised art and design skills. They can see the working processes and detailed thought that goes into making things for specific purposes.

The older students will be also learning about possibilities of building a career within the arts industry beyond what may appear to be the obvious role of an artist.


The elephant is starting to take shape thanks to Eric’s expertise.

Thanks Jessica for organising a fantastic opportunity for our SPW students. Thanks also to James and Eric for supporting our students. We can’t wait to see the finished products at the Lion King Musical later this year.