My first task was to work with Nick Somerville (Head of Art) and the children in year 8 to produce an artist’s brief. I gave the children a short presentation explaining my work and approach to sculpture and Nick designed a work sheet to aid brainstorming. These sessions produced a rich seam of ideas and gave a strong suggestion of the kind of work the children had in mind. It was very clear that the design had to be a patchwork of identifiable symbols with special meanings and associations for the school.
After the sessions I had plenty of source material. The problem was drawing it all together in a coherent way and still represent the children’s wishes. Certain things were clear in the children’s writing and drawing. The Christian faith was paramount and they very strongly asserted their Catholic heritage and their faith. Sport was another strong thread. Most of the school traditions and icons were present, and there was a wide selection of interests, in particular, lessons and activities. Running through all of this were strong community ideals such as friendship, generosity, fairness, equality, and so on. I could not have asked for a more complete picture of what was required.