CREATIVE students are behind a new exhibition exploring how Anne Bronte was not just a writer but an artist too.

A group of pupils from Beckfoot Thornton School and Thornton Primary worked with film artist Rhian Cooke, developing films and tiny books about Anne's work and their own aspirations.

Like the students, Anne often dreamt about her hopes and futures and once told her father, at the tender age of four, that the thing she wanted most from life was “age and experience”.

Cooke dug around the archives at the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth and discovered that Anne was also a prolific illustrator, creating detailed sketches of trees and the sea.

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Bringing these ideas together and linking them to the students' lives in Thornton - the birthplace of the Brontё sisters - resulted in the students making projections, tiny books and thaumatropes - 19th century animated toys consisting of a disc with a different picture on each of its two sides which, when rotated, creates an animation.

Read more... Thornton: A great place to live, where history ties everyone together

The students filmed, photographed and audio recorded the surrounding area, capturing the calming sounds and textures of water, trees and the landscape.

Alice Withers, programme manager at South Square Centre, told the Telegraph & Argus: "Some of them knew about the Brontes but especially because Anne was the less well known, a lot of people don't know who she was or what she was famous for.

"Her love for the coastal and rural landscape can be found in her writing, inspired from her time of being a governess in Scarborough and from the surrounding landscape of Haworth.

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"We went to tell them about that and the things that make Anne unique.

She added: "I think Anne would approve."

Meanwhile year four students from Thornton Primary School created works inspired by Charlotte Brontë’s rare 'little books’ - much like the tiny manuscript which recently went under the hammer for €600,000 and returned to the Parsonage, completing The Young Men’s Magazines collection.

Charlotte, Emily and Anne wrote stories and poems from a very young age, creating imaginary worlds such as Gondal and Glass Town inspired by a set of toy soldiers that was given to Branwell.

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The books were around the size of a matchbook and were often sewn together using scraps of thread.

They featured articles in text that was only small enough that the toy soilders could read.

Read more: Bronte manuscript to return to Haworth after successful bid

Students created their own paper, made from recycled paper using dried flowers and leaves to bring elements of the landscape.

Alice explained: "Anne was courageous and someone who was outspoken about the truth. In the little books which students created, they wrote messages of encouragement for fellow pupils.

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"These are written in pig pen cipher code,UV pen or freeform across the pages."

Messages included: The best you can do is the best; always try your best and never give up.

More photos of the exhibition can be viewed on the Telegraph & Argus website.

The exhibition will be shown until Sunday, March 1 at the South Square Centre, Thornton.

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