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The Fulbridge Academy Sistine Chapel Project – The Designs……….

Oct – Nov ’14

When Iain initially discussed the ‘Sistine Chapel’ brief he gave me a fairly free rein over the design of the mural. As a collection of designs had already been produced and had begun to be employed by the staff who would be working in the new studios, he asked that I didn’t move too far away from the original concept presented within the architects drawing. The designs worked within a regular rectangular shape but he suggested that I didn’t have to be confined to this format and was able to extend beyond these boundaries if I wished.

Also, as the new building would house the year 5&6 children, another stipulation was that the appearance of the mural should be suitable for an older age group and therefore a little more ‘grown up’ as a contrast to the corridors of the Keeton Road site of Fulbridge Academy. With this in mind my intention was to achieve a style more ‘graphic novel’ than ‘storybook’.

I certainly wanted the mural to appear as a painting rather than a flat graphic image and made it a priority that mark making and texture would play a prominent part in its production. I also wanted it to work as a complete and continuous image and not appear as a piece in four separate sections. Within the architectural design of the building the ‘break out area’ is an important and very large connecting space, and it was imperative that the mural enhanced that unifying structure and not create a series of abrupt divisions.

I produced a series of designs with a palette defined by the colour scheme of each studio and which would be painted in three layers. The first would be a background texture using the appropriate colour, the next a composition of simple but boldly presented images and the final layer would comprise of a series of repeated surface graphic elements, which would continue as a connecting device along the full length of both walls.

The original ‘Studio’ designs and my re-design proposals:

Hollywood Original    Fulbridge Hollywood

Broadway Original    Fulbridge Broadway

Pixar Original    Fulbridge Pixar

Universal Original    Fulbridge Universal

Bollywood Original    Fulbridge Bollywood

Disney Original    Fulbridge Disney

West End Original    Fulbridge West End
West End

Abbey Road Original   Fulbridge Abbey Road

Abbey Road

The expansive and sweeping ‘Sistine Chapel’ space I walked into at the beginning of December was an overpowering and very white room, clinical and impersonal. Cold. Pallid. Unlike anywhere on either Fulbridge campus. It was like an Arctic Whiteout. The sooner colour appeared on the walls the better.

I had two clear but contrasting frontrunners for my ‘Blog Title Soundtracks’ page. Should I choose Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin (touched for the very first time)’. Or Procul Harem’s ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’. No contest.


Sounds of the Sea

A collection of North Norfolk seascapes on show at the Right Angle Gallery, Brackley.
A distant horizon, the taste of sea salt, the call of sea birds and the running tide, with a soundtrack by Elgar, Debussy, Britten, Glazunov …………………………………… and Procul Harem

A Salty Dog
Oil on Board    30 x 61 cm
Giant transporters
Matchsticks on the horizon
Swamped in a deluge

Elgar Sea Slumber
Oil on Board    30.2 x 30.2 cm   

Shorebound Flocks with Echoes of Debussy       
Oil on Board    30.1 x 30.1 cm   

Dusk Approaching, Seabirds Gathering – Light on the Horizon               
Oil on Board    30.1 x 30.1 cm   
Recession ahead
Sombre forecasts prevailing
Uncertain future
– Light on the horizon

Seabirds Soaring and Calling       
Oil on Canvas    56 x 76.3 cm   
Fearless, majestic
Seabirds soaring and calling
Braving storm force winds

A Storm for Peter Grimes           
Oil on Canvas    61 x 71.3 cm   
Amorphous backcloth
Sculpted by strong northerlies
Drapery at sea

Dark, overladen
Flying, floating containers
Jettison their cargo

Shifting Horizons               
Oil on Foamboard    59.5 x 84 cm   
The closer I get
The further away it feels
– Shifting horizons

For Alexander Glazunov           
Oil on Board    61 x 91.5 cm   
Clouds monumental
A stormtrooping chorusline
Drenching the skyline


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