x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai pupils create unique silhouette skyline

A group of 50 pupils at Kings' Dubai school has bent over backwards for charity while posing for a unique series of photographs.

The pupils of Kings' Dubai school posed to create the shapes of Dubai landmarks and a silhouette skyline was designed and auctioned off for Dh25,000 at a school ball last month.
The pupils of Kings' Dubai school posed to create the shapes of Dubai landmarks and a silhouette skyline was designed and auctioned off for Dh25,000 at a school ball last month.

DUBAI // Pupils at Kings’ Dubai school have shaped up well for charity while posing for a unique series of photographs.

The 50 children posed to create the shapes of Dubai landmarks and a silhouette skyline was designed and auctioned for Dh25,000 at a school ball last month.

The proceeds will go to Kings’ sister school in Uganda and to Senses, a special needs school in Dubai.

“We wanted to create an original piece of art to auction for charity,” explained Alison Wilkinson, the principal at Kings’ Dubai.

She said the collaborative idea came from the faculty who were inspired by a shadow dance group on the Britain’s Got Talent television show.

“The creative team worked with small groups of children. They had a lot of fun while they worked to see the kind of shapes they could make.”

The children, aged three to 13, practised in groups to form pyramids, curl up, intertwine, kneel or flip backward to form spires, columns, arches and minarets. In the end, the seven landmarks represented were the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Burj Khalifa, a mosque, Emirates twin towers, the Etisalat building and Atlantis, The Palm.

The silhouettes were snapped separately and then stitched together in Photoshop and printed on a 55 by 168 centimetre canvas.

“The children practised for a few sessions through the week using light sources so we could check the shape of the buildings,” said Matt Lecuyer, assistant head teacher.

“We wanted to be able to see the children’s head, hands and feet within the shapes and not have a total silhouette.”

Sue Edwards, the manager of Pret A Portrait Photography, said the shoot was completed in less than two hours because the children had practised their formations well.

“It was totally unique, unusual and creative,” she said.  “When the children came in they just moulded into the different buildings. The positions they had to hold were sometimes awkward because some had to bend backwards, but they were brilliant.”

Located in Umm Suqeim, Kings’ Dubai is the only school to have retained an outstanding rating for five consecutive years during the Knowledge and Human Development Authority inspections.

The school supports Project Shelter Wakadogo, a school in northern Uganda that provides education to more than 250 underprivileged children.

The partnership gives Kings’ students the opportunity to learn and trade items with fellow pupils in Uganda.

Teachers from Kings’ also provide guidance on effective teaching methods and curriculum to their colleagues in Uganda.

rtalwar@thenational.ae