Essential Information

Type Free displays
National Maritime Museum
Date and Times Open daily until 19 February 2024 | 10am-5pm
Prices Free

Please note that this banner has now moved to Willow Dene school.

Learn more about this vibrant new artwork which was on display at the National Maritime Museum, and find out how creatures of the deep inspired its making.

Sea creatures: real and imagined was created by pupils at Willow Dene School, Greenwich with artist Shermaine Slocombe.

The group took part in a sensory session for children with disabilities and special educational needs.

A child's hands photographed during an art workshop. The palm of their right hand is covered in light green paint, and they are feeling the wet paint with their left hand. In the background, a piece of paper with green handprints is just visible

Inspired by their visit, pupils participated in creative activities at their school on the theme of sea creatures. Shermaine Slocombe used the artwork students made to create a digital collage, which was then transferred onto a huge banner.

The final design also includes the pupils’ class names – Greenfinch, Heron, Nightingale and Woodlark – and references sea charts and maps from the Museum’s collection.

Sea creatures: real and imagined now hangs in the National Maritime Museum's Sammy Ofer Wing.

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Generously supported by the Dr Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation


A priceless partnership

“The opportunity to work alongside the National Maritime Museum has been priceless for our children.

"Being immersed in all the history, imagery and sensory landscape that the Museum holds gives such breadth to their life experience. Working alongside Museum creatives on a project designed with our specific needs in mind – giving the children time and real experiences to stimulate and inspire them, and devoting energy to the artistic process rather than just the final product – is so powerful.

"Working collaboratively with a high-profile local resource such as the National Maritime Museum places our children firmly at the centre of their community, celebrates their contribution and values their place in the wider cultural world."

- Rachel Harrison, Executive Headteacher at Willow Dene School 

"It has been a privilege to work alongside the teachers and students at Willow Dene school. How exciting it is to see the work of young artists made in the classroom exhibited and celebrated in a professional space and showcase their skills to a wider audience. 

"By adopting the technique of layering and repeating their dynamic shapes and expressive marks, I have constructed creatures and sea monsters from the deep, ensuring to keep the essence of their original work.

"I have made reference to the charts and maps in the Museum’s collection by using the students’ seascapes and landscapes to add depth, movement and texture. I hope the final piece brings pride and joy to the staff and students and provides a unique and engaging experience for museum visitors."

- Shermaine Slocombe, artist

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