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The Fulbridge Academy Sports Hall Project

1.12.17      Day 46

Back Wall No.4 completed!

 

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The Fulbridge Academy Sports Hall Project

24.11.17      Day 41

Back Wall No.3 completed!

The Fulbridge Academy Sports Hall Project

15.11.17      Day 38

Back Wall No.2 completed!

The Fulbridge Academy Sports Hall Project

20.10.17      Day 26

Back Wall No.1 completed!

The Fulbridge Academy Sports Hall Project

6.10.17      Day 16

The back walls are starting to take shape, however some modification of the design has been necessary. Two noticeboards have been removed as well as an old electrical fuse box, which has caused not only an adjustment of the original design but also given the opportunity for the inclusion of more athletes.

Design for Back Walls (Version 2)

Figures that previously appeared on Wall 4 have now been moved to the centre of Wall 2, the new design for Wall 4 presenting a double portrait of Formula 1 Motor Racing champion Lewis Hamilton, first in a seated pose and also driving his car.

However, as the design was transferred to the wall and the painting stage developed, further modifications were made. I felt the small unfilled spaces between figures on my design sheet appeared much too large and empty on the wall itself. More sporting personalities were therefore added to the collection; cyclist Chris Froome, athletes Caster Semenya and Mo Farah, netball player Serena Guthrie and boxer Anthony Joshua.

The Fulbridge Academy Sports Hall Project

September ’17

Soon after the start of the 2017/18 football season and I’m working at Fulbridge Academy again. I’m both honoured and excited to be given another opportunity to paint on a monumental scale and this time I’m in the Main Hall (now renamed as Looney Tune Land). This project will embrace the world of sport, its aim to encourage the children to become more involved with a variety of physical pursuits.

The brief presented to me by Principal Ben Erskine was to paint a mural on the walls of the Main Hall itself and the adjoining area at the back with a design divided into three sections. One would be seen as a ‘red carpet awards ceremony’, a celebration of international sporting achievement featuring sportsmen and women who have excelled and become an inspiration to others. The second, and largest area, needed to highlight particular sporting activities while the third should celebrate sport in Peterborough, identifying clubs and successful athletes who were born locally or have close links with the area.

Once again, it’s a big job, and like the affectionately titled ‘Sistine Chapel’ project painted in the Charles Swift Wing of the school in 2014/15, scaffolding is going to be needed again too. It’s going to be another demanding one, mentally and physically.

Following a couple of meetings with Ben, and receiving a list of sporting heroes from the PE department, I developed designs for the front and back areas of the hall and presented them at our next meeting. Given the thumbs up I made preparations to begin painting on 11th September.

Design for Back Walls (Version 1)

Figures requested for inclusion:

Athletics: Usain Bolt, Jesse Owens, Jessica Ennis-Hill / Basketball: Michael Jordan, LeBron James / Boxing: Muhammad Ali, Nicola Adams / Cricket: Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Basil D’Oliveira / Football: Pele, Bobby Moore, Cristiano Ronaldo / Gymnastics: Simone Biles, Nadia Comaneci / Rugby: Gareth Edwards, Richie McCaw / Sailing: Ellen MacArthur / Swimming: Michael Phelps, Ellie Simmonds / Tennis: Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rod Laver / Wheelchair athletics: Tanni Grey-Thompson

 

Design for Main Hall (Version 1)

Figures: Gymnastics: Louis Smith / Football: David Bentley, Luke Steele / Field Hockey: Paul Barber / Cricket: Ajaz Akhtar / Rowing: James Fox

Considering the scale and length of this project, I have decided that rather than present a detailed blog on its conclusion, instead I will post an occasionally updated photo diary. So watch this space…………

Give Peace A Chance & Gladiator Murals at Rowlatts Hill Primary Academy – The Movie

Rowlatts Hill Primary Academy, Balderstone Close, Leicester LE5 4ES

Gladiator Mural (Part 3) at Rowlatts Hill Primary Academy

31.5 – 8.6.17

‘Don’t stop until you are proud’

The third and final part of the ‘Gladiator’ project was to be painted on the floor. Physically, painting large walls is always a challenge. Painting ceilings is even more onerous, there is no escape from the strain on neck, back and shoulders. A floor however is probably the most demanding. Back, neck, knees, calf muscles and hamstrings complain after long sessions of bending and crouching in an almost fetal position. Wrist and elbow feel the pressure too from reaching and supporting one’s weight. Even with the use of kneeling pads for protection, there’s no respite at all.

Having said that, unlike the two previous occasions when I have painted a ‘fl-ural’, a ‘Volcanic corridor’ at Fulbridge Academy and a ‘Rabbit Hole’ at Titchmarsh School, this at least would be on a much smaller scale. The area to be covered measured only 1150 x 1170mm, nevertheless I use the word ‘only’ reservedly, I knew from experience that even this would not be a short undertaking, nor would it be an easy one. If the painting proved successful though, it would not only be the icing on the ‘Pudding Club’ cake for the ‘Gladiator’ project, it would be the cherry on top too.

I began to develop design ideas by researching Roman floor mosaic motifs, and while engaged in this task an article about an archaeological discovery in the centre of Leicester appeared on the BBC news page. I incorporated features seen in the photographs from both this reference and from the University of Leicester Archaeological Services website and employed a similar but brighter palette in order to make a connection. I retained its simplicity by restricting the design to four colours, with two blue tones, a red, an orange (rather than the brown/grey of the original) and white.

On showing my design to Principal Jay Virk it was given an immediate and enthusiastic thumbs up. I prepared actual size artwork to assist the transfer of design to floor, and pencil crayon drawing soon evolved into a fully fledged ‘fl-ural’.

The painted ‘mosaic’ acts as a very effective final statement to the ‘Gladiator’ project, and symbolically like a full stop at the end of the last sentence of an immensely enjoyable novel. Following the application of four coats of varnish this brought my residency at Rowlatts Hill Academy to a conclusion. A quote painted on the wall at the end of this corridor has been staring at me for the last couple of months. It reads, ‘Don’t stop until you are proud’. It’s always difficult to assess a painting while working in such close proximity with it, but I’ve reached a point where I’m feeling pride about this one, so I’ve stopped.

Last September I had made a promise to complete three projects at the school, and which I had estimated would require approximately 12-15 weeks to fulfill. However, due to the unforeseen circumstances outlined in my ‘Pure Imagination’ blog, instead of three months my stay had come close to being nine.

Working at Rowlatts Hill has been an absolute pleasure and I thank everyone for being so supportive and understanding about my personal situation. I could easily make a long list of all the teaching and support staff I’d like to thank, I have been made extraordinarily welcome and enjoyed some very good company. In particular I am indebted to Jay and Grant, Principal and Business Manager at Rowlatts Hill. We began with a working relationship, we now enjoy a meaningful friendship. In addition similar feelings apply to Site Premises ‘Captains’ Matt and Nathan too. The assistance and support I’ve received from both has been invaluable, their good humour consistently uplifting and, to say the least, incomparable. I’m really going to miss you chaps.

Thank you Rowlatts Hill. To paraphrase the opening line of Charles Dickens‘A Tale of Two Cities’, what has been the most difficult of times has also been the best of times.

Rowlatts Hill Academy, Balderstone Close, Leicester LE5 4ES

Gladiator Mural (Parts 1&2) at Rowlatts Hill Primary Academy

20.2 – 5.5.17

Hard on the heels of the ‘Once Upon A Time’ mural, my brief for this follow-on project was to transform the appearance of a fairly narrow and very busy corridor and create a taste of Tuscany, a landscape filled with grapevines and warm sunshine. This space, located outside two Year 3 classrooms, leads to a Roman themed area of the school and Principal Jay Virk suggested the final scene from Ridley Scott‘s ‘Gladiator’ movie as a clue of what she envisaged in her mind’s eye. Remembering his home built at the end of an avenue of cypress trees Maximus, Russell Crowe, imagined himself walking through a wheat field in a gently undulating Tuscan hillside to return to his family. To him, this was an image of Heaven.

However, the ‘Gladiator’ mural would be painted in three parts, and as this would be the largest I decided to begin with the smallest section first, so Heaven would have to wait till ‘Part 1’ was completed.

Gladiator mural (Part 1) – The Portrait

The wall seen at the end of the corridor was located within a cloakroom area already having the appearance of a Roman villa, which posed a problem. The design had to work both as an integral element of an exterior landscape scene as well as a Roman interior. The difficulty was resolved by giving the impression the wall surface was made of marble with a plaque, inscribed with a portrait of a Caesar, mounted on it. The trompe l’oeil plaque and portrait was inspired by a Roman coin auctioned in Switzerland in 2015.

 

Gladiator mural (Part 2) – The Landscape

Left Wall:

Right Wall:

The corridor walls have an imagined landscape view and at its end, before entering the Roman area, a grapevine covered pergola helps disguise a door frame. This portion of the corridor is quite dim, so the pergola generates the illusion of being the cause of the shade, whether walking in one direction and out of the ‘sunshine’ or from the other on leaving a bright ‘interior’.

Looking back, the landscape on the wall above the stairs was based upon the house seen in the previously mentioned final scene of the ‘Gladiator’ film, the perspective of the avenue of cypress trees painted to work with the angles seen as one walks toward it.

The walls on each side of the steps are painted in a fragmented, abstracted manner as the landscape gradually simplifies and metamorphoses either into a portrait of the Queen or a stained glass window, the final elements of the ‘Casablanca‘ and ‘Give Peace a Chance‘ murals which are located in the adjoining corridor.

In time, the surface of the corridor floor will be covered with a grass carpet which will further assist with the illusion of walking through an avenue of vines, and the small area of floor between pergola and portrait will become the final section of the Gladiator mural. This will be Part 3 of the project, to be painted next, and which will involve the painting of a mosaic.

Rowlatts Hill Academy, Balderstone Close, Leicester LE5 4ES

Give Peace A Chance Mural at Rowlatts Hill Primary Academy

24.4 – 3.5.17

‘All we are saying

Is Give Peace A Chance………….’

A wall alongside the previously painted ‘Casablanca’ mural, intended to appear as a stained glass window with ‘Peace’ as its theme. The design is based upon ‘Dove of the Holy Spirit’ c.1660, above the Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Rowlatts Hill Primary School, Balderstone Close, Leicester LE5 4ES

3 Parts Dirt! 10cc Abba AC/DC Achille-Etna Michallon Alberto Giacometti Albrecht Durer Alice in Wonderland Amsterdam Andrew Wyeth Andy Warhol Arctic Monkeys Banksy Beatles Benjamin Marshall Bernard Cribbins Black Black Sunday Blondie Bob & Marcia Bob Marley Boxing Brushes app. Caesar Cambridge Camille Corot Cancer Canned Heat Castle Caverstede Early Years Centre 'Bigger Picture' Chalk Pastel Charcoal Charles R. Knight Charlie Small Christo Claude Monet Coldplay Corinne Bailey Rae Coventry Creative Partnerships Crete Daniel Lambert Darren Fraser David Bomberg Deacon's School Dennis Creffield Diego Velάzquez Discovery Primary School Django Reinhardt Dogsthorpe Academy Drawing Edgar Degas Edvard Munch Egypt Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun Elton John en plein air Epping Forest Eurythmics Evolve magazine Exhibition Fitzwilliam Museum Floella Benjamin Foo Fighters Forest Schools Francesco Guardi Frank Auerbach Fred Astaire Frida Kahlo Fulbridge School Garage Door Gary Moore Gene Wilder Gentle Giant George Bellows Georges Braque Georgio de Chirico Gerry Rafferty Gian Lorenzo Bernini Gingerbread Man Giovanni Bellini Gladiator Glasgow Boys Glenn Frey Gnarls Barkley Greece Gruffalo Haiku Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Hercules Brabazon Brabazon Ian Anderson Impressionism iPad Iron Curtain Jacob van Ruisdael Jacques Brel James Abbott McNeill Whistler Jamiroquai Jazz Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres Jean-Francois Millet Jethro Tull JMW Turner Johannes Vermeer John Constable John Lennon Johnny Kidd & the Pirates Juan Sánchez Cotán Jurassic Way Killer Shrimp Kit Downes Quintet KT Tunstall Lanchester Polytechnic Landscape Landscape painting Lascaux Laurel Barbieri Leningrad Lenny Kravitz Len Tabner Leonardo da Vinci Lewis Carroll Little Red Riding Hood Loch Craignish Lonnie Donegan Lynyrd Skynyrd Mad Hatter Madness Manfred Mann's Earth Band March Hare Marvin Gaye Media Media Archive for Central England Michael Jackson MichelAngelo Modest Mussorgsky Mosaic Moscow Mural Muse Music National Gallery Newark Hill Primary Nickel Creek Nick Ward Nina Simone Oasis Obsidian Art Gallery Owl Painting Panda Panorama Paul Cezanne Paul Gauguin Peterborough Peter Paul Rubens Picasso Pirates Pleurisy Pneumonia Portrait Procul Harem Queen Radio 3 Essential Classics Rafael Alberti Rainforest Ray Charles Red Hot Chili Peppers Rembrandt van Rijn Rene Magritte River Nene Roald Dahl Rock Music Rod Campbell Rodrigo y Gabriela Rod Stewart Rogier van der Weyden Rolling Stones Romans Rome Rowlatts Hill Primary School Royal Academy Roy Clark Russia Salvator Rosa Sarah Walker Scotland Seascape Self Portrait Sistine Chapel Small Faces Steppenwolf Stereophonics Talking Heads The Automatic The BFG The Crooked House Himley The Editors The Jam The Killers The Moody Blues The Red Deltas The Sensational Alex Harvey Band Thin Lizzy Thomas Faed Tina Turner Titchmarsh School Titian Totem Pole Trompe l'oeil Tuscany USSR Venice Vienna Vincent Van Gogh Volcanic Voyager Academy Warmington School We Are Scientists William Hogarth William Law Primary School Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club YouTube

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