An innovative project will bring art and classical music alive, so it is easier for school pupils to appreciate and understand it.

Art and Classical Music for School Pupils enjoyed a project launch at Ventnor Botanic Garden on Wednesday.

The project is the brainchild of Professor Robin McInnes, who gave a presentation on the night, and showed a 30-minute video, which matches 22 magnificent paintings, all of which tell a story, with evocative music by some of the world’s greatest composers.

The video concept and necessary research was undertaken by Robin and his colleague Chloe Stanford-Clark.

The video was produced by language teacher Will King, who added numerous special effects, and it was introduced by Island-based fine art conservator Emily Kelmendi.

Part of the video was filmed at Martin Beisly Fine Art in London. Martin specialises in Pre-Raphaelite and other great Victorian paintings.

Brought up on the Island, Martin was head of Victorian art at Christie’s for 20 years before establishing his gallery.

Robin said: "The project aims to raise interest and awareness among school pupils of great artworks and classical music from the 19th and early 20th centuries at a time when the arts have tended to be marginalised in favour of maths and science, despite the widely recognised benefits arising from study of art and music."

The first phase of the project has involved The Island Free School and Ryde School, where staff and pupils have tested the project concept alongside over 70 consultees in the arts, music and educational fields.

Pupils were invited to choose one of the paintings from the video and to enter competitions for painting in the style of the artist, researching and preparing illustrated essays, or composing their own music.

Twenty-five prizes were awarded to pupils and presented by sponsors Dr Margarita Kitova-John of Lantern Clinic and Katy Baxter of Montgomery Estate Planning.

In the Spring term it is the turn of selected primary schools before the project is rolled out more widely.

The launch ended with a guest performance by harpist, Bella Brown, a past pupil of Ryde School and now studying at Platform One in Newport.

Schools wishing to participate can contact Robin McInnes at or call 01983 854865.