Bigland Green Primary School, Shadwell, London
Bigland Green Primary School wanted to transform part of their playground, cheer up a couple of boring wooden huts as well as their front wall on the street and main entrance. The school motto is ‘a fun and friendly place to learn and grow’, and the theme for the playground and the front wall was based on the idea of growth, a good natural theme to counteract their urban environment as well as linking in with their school motto.
In the spring term children from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 drew plants and all kinds of flora with Catherine and Becky and Clem from Artyface.
The drawings were collaged into 9 circular designs for mosaics that included a school sign with the school logo.
Younger children (Nursery Reception Years 1 and 2) had workshops with the artists to make richly patterned and textured leaves, as well as simpler square and circular tiles, which were taken away and glazed and fired to 1280 degrees. All the edges of the mosaic circles are hand-cut recycled mirror. Pupils, parents, governors and teachers visited the art room over the residency to glue some tiles down, to have their input into the creative process and to learn about the collaborative mosaicing method.
‘When I did the mosaic I felt amazingly happy. I felt like I worked so well with the school. I felt so good that I took part in something. The thing I loved was spreading the soft crystal white glue on the square surface of the mosaic tile.’
Amira, Year 4
‘When I was making the mosaic Rahaat, my friend, helped me. When I was in the room I felt really excited.’
Samin, Year 2
‘I felt really happy and excited about the mosaic. I loved doing the gluing and ripping of the squares. I liked the noise of the thing that was used to cut the squares – clip, clop, clip clop! When I saw the finished mosaic I thought it was magnificent.’
Amal, Year 4