Back in July I presented an extra special piece of bespoke artwork to the headteacher of our village infant school. Extra special because it was to mark our son's and his fellow classmates final year at the school, many of whom we had known since they were at pre-school together.
As I was working on the piece I was taken back 3 years to when I did my very first paper cuts, the second one I ever did was for Hugh's pre-school, a tiny school building built in 1847 in a nearby village overlooking fields with a tall willowy tree by a dry stone wall at the front. The tree was my inspiration and I went about illustrating it with the school building in the background. Hand cutting all the detail I went on to make little leaves with the names of all the children on.
3 years later I have seen my lovely little boy grow in height, confidence & knowledge through the nurturing of the staff at this lovely little school where doors are always open and staff make time for you. With this in mind, when I was asked if I would make one of my tree pictures, one phrase kept going through my head "from little acorns great oak trees grow"
So the tree became the school, the birdhouses the classes & the woodland animals the staff. The open door represents the nurturing of the staff, listening to and caring for our children, and the ladder is the children's knowledge growing as they climb up through the school to the top class.
When I made the pre-school picture, I put all the names on the leaves, 3 years on the children of year 2 at St Peter's Infant School all wrote their own names, beautifully in joined up handwriting.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the class of 2015 the best of luck in their new schools.
At first I was not sure how I would illustrate it, the school buildings don't lend themselves to the way I did the pre-school picture, then I looked at the playing field, large trees and wooden play equipment full of ropes, ladders and plenty to climb on and realised the school is not just the building, it is a living thing made by the people who are in it.