5 murals in 7 days…sounds like a tall order, and that is because it is! When Oaklands Primary contacted me, we spent some time coming up with different ideas for school murals. They are a new build primary school in a rural area and they wanted to embrace their culture. The school has been interior designed to reflect the seasons and so each area is decorated in colours pertinent to that season. A lovely idea, but the execution isn’t as good as it could have been. The Head Teacher told me today that there are 33 paint colours around his school, and some of them are not pleasant…what a nightmare!
So, with the seasonal theme in mind, we came up with the idea of producing 4 story book murals, each depicting a stylised tree in a limited palette of appropriate colours. On the facing page the school we were hoping to hold a poetry competition, and the winning peom for each season would make it onto each mural. However, they have sadly been struck down with the dreaded lurgy and had not managed to organise the competition before I got there so, 4 poems have been selected to appear in the seasonal story book murals.
My journey to Yeovil was fraught to say the least, I was thwarted by not one, but two road closures, turning a 2 and a half hour journey, into almost 4 hours. But I arrived safely, and after not enough sleep, got to the school to start work. This is when the next issue arose. The school had had some fish tanks installed during the half term, one of them in the area in which the 5th and largest mural, a world map was to be painted. In short, the world map mural wouldn’t fit around it, we either had to distort the map, not really an option, or lose southern Africa, Madagascar and a chunk of Antarctica behind the fish tank. Several other locations were considered, but rejected, leaving us with the unappealing option of trying to move the fish tank. Now we are not talking a bowl and a couple of guppies here, we are talking about a seriously large, tropical fish aquarium.
Still, Bruce the fish man was located, and has agreed to move the fish tank just a metre to the left which will give us the space we need to paint the world map mural, off centre. So in the hope that Bruce can do carry out this delicate operation on Monday, I started with the story book murals. As I type, Autumn, Spring and Winter are already done.
The Autumn tree is a mass of circles in Autumn colours, the tree bends with the wind and the circles, blown from the branches, drift onto the facing page. Spring is all about life and the tree is alive with fresh new leaves, pink blossom, birds, bees and butterflies. The Winter tree is bare and delicate, the branches hang with silver icicles and there are snow flakes falling on the tree and around the poem.
Later in the week, we will look at the last story book mural, Summer and the world map.