Burhill School: Wildlife Tree
Burhill asked me to be involved in their Arts Week. They wanted me to spend 2 days at the school working with all of the children to create a sculpture to go on the wall next to their entrance. Speaking with the teachers I decided to look at some of the great children's illustrators (Heath Robinson for example). I came up with a design that included lots of small elements, so that the more you looked at it the more interesting things you notice, I thought this would appeal to the age range of the children involved. I made several cardboard maquettes of the various bits in the design, and cut out cardboard templates of all of the pieces we would need. The final design is based around a tree, so the really young children (nursery classes) got to use the basic leaf templates I provided, to draw on the metal, cut out lots of leaves and hammer the tree trunk. Then the rest of the school, in half hour time slots working in small groups, used the more complicated templates to cut out, file and hammer the rest of the sculpture, including a robin (Burhills emblem), butterflies, bees, ladybirds and flowers. I then spent several days in my studio welding all of the pieces together and painting/varnishing them.
Details of the finished sculpture
Final installed sculpture