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Pupils, teachers and parents get first glimpse of ‘floating’ artwork at Lansbury Bridge School

7th Feb 2019

“I wanted to create an installation that would unite the whole school community and offered a chance for me to get to know the pupils through creative immersive sessions."

This week we unveiled a new artwork made by pupils working with our Artist in Residence for Schools and Colleges Cathy Cross at Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College.

Hanging in the school’s entrance hall, Circle Shadows Overhead is a large scale installation featuring 125 individuals ‘artworks’ made by pupils. Resembling clouds, the artworks changes colour with the light throughout the day and can be projected on to.

Cathy has been working in the school since September 2018, delivering sessions using low-tech gadgets and high-spec smartphones to show teachers and pupils how simple ideas can transform spaces. The pupils made each individual ‘cloud’ in small groups and pairs using fabric, paint and other materials.

The ‘clouds’ can also be projected onto giving pupils and staff the chance to curate the space with video, images and light.

As Artist in Residence Cathy explains:

“I wanted to create an installation that would unite the whole school community and offered a chance for me to get to know the pupils through creative immersive sessions. During the time we spent in the art room, we played with light and darkness, changed the atmosphere, slowed the time down to listen to sounds. By adapting the space we work in, we can change the mood, energy and volume of a room. We can see, hear and feel things differently.

“My aim was to enable staff to try new ways of working, and experience different responses from the students they know so well. By working on small surfaces with each class, I was able to build a larger body of work that each individual, pairing or class could own.”

Cathy installed the work over the weekend so that the installation was a surprise at the start of the day for both staff, pupils and parents/carers.

“This was always part of the plan, to create a moment of looking up and seeing what is possible. Creating magical spaces with the people who work, eat and play in them every day is always a privilege. I can’t wait to see what we can do with the space next!”

We’re thrilled to say that project has received an incredibly positive reaction from staff and pupils as Lansbury's Deputy Head Helen Birkenhead explains:

“The whole process has benefited our pupils - from experiencing the new ambience in the classroom and collaborating with their peers to helping host the installation event. Our newly appointed Arts Ambassadors demonstrated confidence in welcoming guests, showcasing their work and eliciting feedback on the installation. Many have been inspired to speak to the attending artists about career opportunities. During lunchtimes it is lovely to see pupils looking up at the work; pointing out their individual contribution and watching the light (natural or projected) change across the surface of the hoops. It has also been rewarding to hear our pupils using descriptive and emotive language when describing the process and the finished installation.”

Our Deputy Director, Kat explains why being embedded in communities is so fundamental to the way we work:

“We are really proud of Cathy’s work with Lansbury Bridge. By using the artist residency model we can support her be truly embedded within the school community. The outcome of this kind of careful, trusting approach is the fantastic student and teacher engagement that shines through the work they’ve created. The creative journey that Cathy and Lansbury Bridge have embarked on together echoes our philosophy of co-production and reminds us why we place people at the centre of everything we do.”

Cathy Cross

Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College