Workshop using leftover banners from the London 2012 Olympics.
Commissioned by St Albans District Council for Oakwood School, St Albans.
2-3 and 9-10 May 2013
Rich worked for four days with Poplar class at Oakwood School, St Albans, to develop a sculpture made from banner material left over from the London 2012 Olympic torch route. The themes for the workshop were 'Legacy' and 'Recycling'.
Oakwood school has a code of five Rs, each represented by an animal: Responsible Dog, Reflective Owl, Resilient Tortoise, Resourceful Squirrel and Ready Rabbit. For the workshop Rich added a special sixth R - Recycling - and asked the children to first think of animals that recycle, and then to each invent and draw a new animal that could recycle the rubbish we produce. From this it became apparent that this new animal would need many attributes to perform its tasks; flippers to swim, wings to fly, tentacles to grab, teeth to chew, and so on. Each child chose one of these from their drawing and used it to create a template which was transferred onto the banner material. The children cut the pieces out, stitched them together with cable ties and stuffed them with off-cuts of the same material. Poplar class then passed on this knowledge to two other classes, helping them to make the stuffed objects, resulting in almost ninety tentacles, trunks, eyes, ears, fangs and tails all made in bright colours.
When all the pieces were completed Rich attached them to one side of a banner sheet and, in a grand unveiling, hoisted the whole thing up between two trees in the playground. The Litter-cruncher Chimeracycle was created - a creature made up of many different creatures and possessing all the abilities it needed to recycle all kinds of rubbish. The children also wrote a story to describe how the creature was created: read it here.
Special thanks to Miss Tapster, Chris Blanch and, of course, Poplar Class.