Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Larkhall Academy Windows

This project shows how long a community project can take. This was begun in 2005. The first element in the project was to get the funding from the Scottish Arts Council and the South Lanarksire Council to enable an artwork to be designed for the new Larkhall Academy school building.

The next task was to give the members of the Art Department and the students basic skills in leaded glass. A basic premise of the funding is that all 400 or so students would have a part in making something for the school. This became the creation in school premises glass tiles which were fired. Some were auctioned for funds, some kept by the students and some incorporated into light boxes.

The design task was to encourage the students from each department to present designs for an image to represent their department. From these designs concepts, groups of four students were chosen from each department to advance their designs at a three-day design workshop held in the WASPS Hanson Street Studios. The design concepts were refined and presented to the whole group.

The groups returned to school and developed work in conjunction with the Art Department teachers and presented Brian Waugh with completed images. Brian's job was to find a way to incorporate these images into a unified whole.

The original concept he developed was a double sided wheel that would be placed in steel and installed in the communal area of the school. Delays and changes in the building plans, lead to an interior version of this idea. After many delays and some problems, the school was ready to receive the completed panels.

Brian and I with the assistance of Charles Provan - the one who gathered all the funds and administered the whole long process - brought the 26 panels to be installed to the school the Friday afternoon 4 days before the grand opening.

It would have been grand to have photographs of the panels laid out on the floor to make sure we got them up in the right order - we had to take only one out to put it back in the correct place and that was before we fixed the next one in place!

Finally, we could stand back on Sunday afternoon and look with pride at what had been achieved after such a long wait.

Left Window
Right Window
The opening night for the new school went off well, with many of the people who were involved in the design, returning to school for the evening. Students, teachers, councillors, important people from the community, and even the workers attended and enjoyed the unveiling and the tours round the school.

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