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Year 5 and 6 painting with Katrina Gardner and Ricky Tomlinson

Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson and artist Katrina Gardner showed our year 5 and 6 children how they could paint by holding a paintbrush between their toes.

Their appearance at the school was part of an independent film company’s documentary on thalidomide, the drug that caused deaths and severe limb deficiencies in babies 60 years ago. They chose Sproatley as Katrina’s four children went there.

“You’ve heard of Picasso – well I’m Rick-asso,” the actor told the children. He shot to fame as Jim Royle in BBC TV’s The Royle Family and is now a keen amateur artist in his own right.

After hearing Katrina’s story and how she was born without arms but overcame adversity to have four children and bring them up mainly as a single mum, the artist, who lives locally, gave a demonstration of foot painting before the children themselves had a go.

Katrina Gardner is a student artist with the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists’ association and gives talks to groups. “I love going into schools,” she said. “Children are fascinated and don’t hold back in their questions, which is great. It’s really good to break down these barriers.”

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