The world famous Sir Harold Hillier Gardens has provided the beautiful backdrop for a Harrow Way 50th anniversary art project. Complementing the annual Art in the Garden Year exhibition the Year 8 students created 50 plaster cast butterflies which now form part of the largest sculpture exhibit in the country.

Taking inspiration from both the gardens and the school’s 50th anniversary, Year 10 Art students also visited the gardens to research ideas for a sculptural piece. The students will be creating designs for the artwork to be displayed in Harrow Way’s grounds as part of the year-long 50th celebrations.

Curriculum Leader for Art Chrissy Collins explains further: “Collectively the Year 10s chose ‘growth’ as their theme as they felt Harrow Way provides a safe place for students to learn and grow in stature, academic and social skills. They commented that students arrive as young Year 7s and leave as fully rounded young adults”.

Exploring the work of professional artists showcasing their sculptures in the Art in the Garden exhibition, the Year 10 artists researched the materials, techniques and methods used. Drawing and photographing the pieces, discussing their feelings and expressing opinions regarding the artists’ message all formed the basis of this important research work.

An added bonus for the students was the enthusiasm from a student, new to school, who was enthralled with the difference in foliage and landscape from her home in South Africa. Through her eyes they were made even more aware of our natural world and to appreciate its beauty.

Chrissy Collins continues: “We were very fortunate to visit the gardens on a beautiful day and the students genuinely enjoyed the amazing variety of plants and trees which will help them develop their ideas into designs for the school’s 50th anniversary sculpture. Our thanks must go to the staff at Hilliers who looked after us so well and donated a plastic gardening grid which will enable our students to create weavings back at school”.