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Pupils from Taverham Hall Preparatory School make Viking Boat as part of their Willow Art Project
The recent Art Days for Years 7 and 8 were led by Maggie Campbell who specialises in outdoor sculptures and installations.
Maggie worked for film studios and the BBC in the days of elaborate props and wobbly scenery. She was involved in making many of the incredible creatures for the sci-fi classics which came to our screens from the 60s onwards, including terrors such as the ‘Daffodil men’ in Doctor Who – undoubtedly more frightening in black and white.
The pupils worked for two days to complete a twenty-six foot long willow Viking boat, which sits on the lawn in front of the hall overlooking the River Wensum.
Year 7 put together the framework: half the group measured out the boat and assembled the materials while the other half worked in the art room painting Viking motifs on to silk flags for the mast rigging. The groups swapped over in the afternoon so that all the pupils had a turn.
Year 8 spent their day weaving and making plaster casts of each other’s faces. In lessons last term the group learnt to weave structures using rigid materials so they were able to put these skills into practice using withies instead. The plaster casts have been made to create an installation in the inner hall in September: something for us to remember them by in the year ahead.
These are a few of their comments:
“The technique was very clever; we wove the thinner lengths of willow through small gaps between the stakes which had been knocked into the ground by Year 7. It was very rewarding to watch the sides grow higher and higher.” Will
“The shields were fun to make; we had to split the thick bits of willow in half then arrange them like the spokes of a wheel and weave the smaller withies round and round, in and out of the spokes starting from the centre.“ Grace
“I really enjoyed making the face masks; it was definitely a new experience to breathe through a straw while a friend makes a cast of my face.”
“I enjoyed working with fabric paints my flag has a blue snake with a pink background.” Charlotte
“I really enjoyed designing the flag and loved putting the little metal ties in place on the willow framework.” Helena
“I’d love to do it again.”
“Having your face cast done is really relaxing and the results were so rewarding.”
“Making the ship outside was a great way to work with your friends and the result was really amazing.”
“We loved the willow weaving it was definitely the highlight of the year so far.”
“I hope it lasts for ever.” All Year 8