October 23, 2012
Dunston Hill Primary School had an amazing garden area, but its location next to the all weather sports facility, seperated by only a mesh fence, meant that it never really felt like it had its own personal identity. I was asked to provide some nature themed artworks that would be fixed to the mesh fence, creating a colourful boundary and an eye catching diversion to what was happening on the sports field. In the end, along with the children, we made over 60 plywood nature shapes. These ranged from a 2 metre tree behind the story tellers chair, through giant sunflowers and fish filled ponds, down to oversize ladybirds, snails, birds and fungi.
The next task in such a large garden was to give a strong sense of location and direction for small children. This was created by mosaics of various insects located around the pathways, and a series of rustic wood burned signs, which also gave a striking visual continuity to the garden.
The final touch was a giant bird table (created by my old brother in arms davy Whisler ), and a mini-beast hotel constructed from recycled wooden palettes and filled with bricks, bamboo, straw, giant pine cones, terracotta tiles.. and pretty much anything that will give a interesting home to small insect life.