Same Sky and Happy Accidents – the community arts organisations behind the parade – decided to invite pupils to join professional artists at in-school workshops to create the self-portraits as a way to bring them together until the event is able to return in 2022.
Mr Reed, from Greenway Academy which has taken part in the exhibition, said: “The children of year-six (and adults included) had a fantastic afternoon assembling 3D self-portraits.
“The children were so engaged and attentive – it was a rare moment to enjoy ‘the arts’ amid the chaos of Covid-19.
“A simple activity involving paper lanterns got a great spectrum of artistic outputs – it was lovely to see.
“When we heard that the children’s parade had understandably been cancelled we assumed there would be nothing until after Covid.
“This has been a great reminder that there are other children out there doing the same activity and will be fantastic to see them when they are exhibited in the town.
“Whilst we might physically not be able to march in a parade, the ethos behind it is there and we can celebrate the flare and talent of the town’s children.”
The symbolic ‘Togetherness’ exhibition has been hosted at The Capitol and Swan Walk since Saturday, July 10, and will run until Saturday, July 31.
The organisers say it is a symbolic display, representing the gathering of up to 450 children from 15 of the district’s primary schools that were due to take part in the Horsham Children’s Parade 2021 this month.
John Varah, Same Sky director, said the organisation has missedbeing able to work with the children and their teachers to design and make their parade models, but says the full parade will return next year should it be safe to do so.
Happy Accidents director, Aleida Strowger, added: “The children’s parade is such a joyous occasion and gives the children in our district an opportunity to unite, showcase their creativity and experience positive ownership of their town.
“Having been separated from one another and from the community for so long due to Covid, we wanted to unite them and make them visible again through this exhibition.”