Bow Arts and Marion Richardson Primary School have helped a group of year 3,4 & 5 pupils to become commissioning agents for an exciting piece of public art for the school grounds celebrating the London Olympics 2012.
This group of children have been involved right the way through the project, from research and design to ultimately making and constructing a series of sculptures alongside a professional artist. The artworks have been installed in the school playground and will be used as a teaching resource by pupils and staff across the whole school.
The school were very keen for the pupils to take the lead, have their ideas valued and be involved in every part of the process.
In February, pupils selected and interviewed a series of top professional artists to work with them and help them realise their giant sculptural ambitions. They devised all the questions and fired design ideas at the artists to see how they responded. The children unanimously decided upon artist and gardener Jane Rogers to lead the project. She and two volunteers have worked with the group of 10 key stage 2 young artists to make this new piece of public art a reality using living and cut willow. Various classes have visited the workshops to lend a hand and realise the large scale sculptures.
As well as designing and making two sculptures from a combination of living and cut willow, a wishing tree and a running man, the children have also created a living willow tunnel which adds a new and exciting element to the playground for play and will encourage wildlife to visit this inner city school’s playground.
The designs for the sculptures and tunnel were inspired by a visit to the ‘View Tube’ overlooking the Olympic Park where the children were able to see, draw and photograph the stadiums and the large-scale artwork created for the Olympics just down the road in Stratford.
Last week the sculptures were officially unveiled in the playground to staff, pupils, guests and press. The children paraded with lanterns made of willow and celebrated their achievements. The younger children in the school were very excited to play in the willow tunnel for the first time!
The resulting artworks will give the children a sense of pride and ownership over their school environment and will be enjoyed and appreciated by the rest of the school for years to come.
If you are interested in having a project like this in your school, please call 020 8709 5293 or email us.