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The University of Southampton

New school buildings inspire innovative artwork

Published: 29 November 2004

A multi-million pound project to rebuild a Hampshire school has inspired an exhibition of artworks telling the story of its construction.

Trish Bould from Winchester School of Art (WSA) and her colleague Belinda Mitchell from London Metropolitan University first got involved when plans to redevelop Lankhills special school in Andover Road were announced in 2000. They worked alongside Hampshire County Council architect Dan Keeler who was to win a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award for the school in 2004. It is now called the Osborne School.

The artists have now staged an exhibition at the Winchester Gallery at WSA with works developed from architects' drawings and contractors work plans. A book is also in preparation. The research has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board.

The pair also collaborated with architects, engineers, building contractors and the school to create a permanent work of art. Drawings from everyone involved have been printed on the glazed balustrade running through the centre of the school, marking the many uses of drawing in every area and at every stage of its construction.

One challenge was to involve construction workers in the project. "We turned up on site and started talking to the labourers," explained Trish. "Many were amazed that artists were taking an interest in what they were doing. But they came to realise that much of their work was really creative."

Headteacher of the Osborne School, Rod Wakelam, observed the process from the beginning. He said: "I'm not an artist and, to start with, I wasn't sure whether this project would work. But it's been fascinating for the children to see how the site developed over time and the displays are now a focal point for visitors to the school."

Trish is developing her work further by examining how different parts of the University of Southampton use drawings.

Notes for editors

  1. Winchester School of Art has been part of the University of Southampton since 1996.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5,000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.
  3. The Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) funds postgraduate and advanced research within the UK's higher education institutions and provides funding for museums, galleries and collections that are based in, or attached to, HEIs within England. The AHRB supports research within a huge subject domain - from history, modern languages and English literature, to music and the creative and performing arts.
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