Northampton High School

I've been away for the past week, working as Artist in Residence with girls aged 7 and 8 at Northampton High School in Hardingstone, Northamptonshire.  This is the third time I've been asked to work there and its always a pleasure.  This year was especially enjoyable as the project was themed around the school's beautiful wild area.  Regular readers of Tumbling Hills already know that I love working outdoors and find the natural world a constant source of inspiration and joy.

The May blossom has been particularly splendid  this spring and the school's wild area was full of green and white abundance under bright blue skies and warm sunshine when we went out there to observe and make sketches.  With many lovely trees, wild flowers and a large pond, the girls were spoilt for choice.  Back in the classroom girls made individual paper collage pieces ready to be combined into a giant collage running along the back of the stage in the assembly hall.

I'm really pleased with how the final piece came together and impressed by the intricacy and inventiveness demonstrated by the little artists. I would not have expected them to be able to concentrate for so long on the subtle variations in bark, leaf form and overall shape, and to render these so well in the medium of cut and ripped paper.  I had a great time composing the final image you can see here, although it took me a long time to get the placements just right.

These photos don't do justice to the real thing - being set back on a stage, the lighting was quite tricky.  Its hard to choose a favourite bit but I love the pond, especially as it doesn't worry about matters of scale and exists in its own reality...

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