Armchair Gallery

How to run a creative workshop based on Market Scene, Northern Town

Artwork by L. S. Lowry, created in 1939

About this activity

Workshop themes

  • Buying and selling
  • Food
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Industry
  • Markets
  • Money


  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for one to one

Difficulty level




  • Name badges (for all participants and staff).


  • Go around the room and make eye contact with everyone, shake their hand and say hello.
  • Inform participants the group that you’re going to count out loud from 1-10 together. First, warm up voices and build energy by changing the volume of the count. In unison, start quietly and get louder as the numbers increase. The group can start with their hands on their knees for number 1 and as the volume increases raise their arms higher until they are in the air for number 10. This works well as it is a visual aid as well as a sound aid.  
  • To set a challenge, ask people to count backwards, going up and down in volume.  




  • Look at the artwork using the Armchair Gallery app.
  • Welcome and invite the person or group to create with you and write their answers on the flip chart. Ask open-ended questions (like in the list to the right).
  • Affirm/echo all their answers - together we build a story that can have sound, movement, words - even drawings.
  • Retell the story, then invite them to add another creative element like sound, or movement.

Suggested Questions

  • What is going on in the picture? 
  • What are the people doing? 
  • Does this place look familiar, where could it be?  
  • What sounds would you hear? 
  • What kind of smells would there be?  
  • What are the people wearing?  
  • What colours can you see in the background of this artwork?   
  • What would you name this piece of art?

Play this video

Workshop members can watch this on their own tablet, or you can play it to the group by connecting your tablet to a TV or projector. It can also be downloaded from the Armchair Gallery website.

Interact with the artwork

At this point in the workshop participants should have a go at using the app to interact with the artwork. From the main menu, enter The Lowry, select Market Scene, Northern Town and tap Interact and play.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 1


  • iPad and speakers for sound clips.
  • Fruit and vegetable selection (for eating, smelling and printing with).
  • Cocktail sticks. 
  • Variety of coins (varying in size, colour and value).
  • Brown paper bags.


  • Download sounds that you would hear if you were visiting a market. Sounds could include, a market trader selling their goods, money, people talking, buses etc.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 2


  • Prepare a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables for your group to taste. Make sure these differ in colour, texture and taste. The reaction to the taste will be heightened if you differ the tastes between something sweet to a savoury taste (including fruit and vegetables).  
  • The tastes suggested by participants can be written down (on a blackboard/whiteboard). Ask the group to guess how much the fruit or veg would cost if they were bought from the market. 
  • Fruit and vegetables can be handed around whole and also pre-prepared on cocktail sticks ready to taste. This will help with recognising the different items and support the group in feeling more comfortable about what they are about to eat. 


  • Pass around different sizes, colours, shapes and textures of fruit for people to touch and explore and some of the more unusually textured fruit and veg i.e. karela, lychee, star fruit, artichoke, broccoli etc.
  • Hand out a variety of sized coins and ask the group to organise them in order of size, value or in two piles.  
  • The money will create live sounds which could be included in your sound clips played whilst doing the different activities. You could create a market soundscape connecting themes and objects typically found at a market. The Yellofier app is great for creating a soundboard of 12 sounds around a specific theme! 

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 3


  • Fold up brown paper bags that are typically found on a market stall to create small paper boxes. . Folding and following visual instructions can work really well for some people.
  • Wrap some of the fruit and vegetables in brown bags too and instigate a guessing game to stimulate curiosity – what is in the bag?’ 



  • Ask the group to smell all of the different fruits and vegetables presented to them. Both smell and taste go hand in hand,  the senses will support recognition and enhance the sensory experiences.  

Making: Fruit Print Bag


Celebrate by making fresh lemonade with the group, pressing lemons and adding the sugar. Pass a glass around for each participant and give a big cheers to everyone! You could even ask everyone to thank someone else in the group for coming and being part of the group.  


Getting Materials

You should be able to get most of the materials mentioned in this guide at your local arts supplier.

They are also avaiable on Amazon. If you shop via Amazon Smile (using the button below - UK only), then we will recieve a donation that we can put towards our work with older people.

Other Apps

You could use these other apps to further explore digital technology in your workshop.