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New artwork unveiled at Wednesfield High


Students at Wednesfield High School, which is undergoing a £14.6m redevelopment as part of Wolverhampton’s Building Schools for the Future programme, have been working with professional artists Dashyline to research and develop the designs of specially commissioned pieces of art which were recently unveiled at the school.

One piece, entitled Peppered Moths, plays on the notion of the sports hall being a lampshade which gives off a warm glow at night and the Wolverhampton motto ‘Out of Darkness Cometh Light’ by creating the impression of moths hovering around it.

As part of the research-based work, students came up with the idea of featuring the ‘Peppered Moth’, a species specific to the industrial areas of the Black Country which had evolved from peppered to black as a result of industry and pollution but which is now returning to its peppered state due to the Clean Air Act.

The artwork for the dining hall, entitled the ‘Pie Factory’, is based upon a series of workshops involving food technology and history students who came up with a unique design that is an educational and humorous look at the history of food production.

Students researched recipes from the pre and post-war eras, prepared and cooked old and new recipes and explored the way in which food is marketed and sold. The final design, a large-scale wall mural, depicts a humorous look at food production in a wartime setting.

The commissions are part of Project Dandelion, Wolverhampton’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) Public Art programme.

Wednesfield High School Headteacher Claire Evans said: “We are delighted with the unique pieces of art which have resulted from this project.

“The engagement between the art team and staff and students has been an amazing experience and the inspiration from the projects has made a significant impact on staff and students.”

Nicola Winstanley, who is one half of Dashyline with Sarah Nadin, said: “Our aim for these projects was to create a legacy encouraging creative thinking in all subjects, not just art. We are delighted with the outcome of both projects. Their success is a testament to the students’ creativity and the school’s vision for its pupils and the wider community.”

The two new pieces of artwork were officially unveiled at a special event at the school on Wednesday (May 9, 2012), and there will be more artwork to come with internationally-acclaimed lead artist Michael Shaw commissioned to make a gateway sculpture for the new school entrance. He will work with engineering and art students on what is expected to be a powerful symbol for the school.

Picture 001: In front of the Pie Factory mural are Nicola Winstanley of Dashyline and Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning Councillor Phil Page with, front, left to right, Headteacher Claire Evans and student Jack Potts.

Picture 002: Pupils Jessica Boyce and Peter Large share their designs for the Pie Factory mural with, left, top to bottom, Assistant Director for Schools, Skills and Learning Tim Westwood, Sarah Nadin and Nicola Winstanley of Dashyline and, right, top to bottom, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills & learning Councillor Phil Page and Wednesfield High School Headteacher Claire Evans.

Picture 003: Peter Large and Jack Potts, the students who came up with the idea for the Peppered Moth design which graces the exterior of the sports hall, show off their designs to Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning Councillor Phil Page.

One reply on “New artwork unveiled at Wednesfield High”

The artwork sounds like a very good idea – but why does one pice of artwork focus on Wolverhampton’s Motto?  Wednesfield once had its own Motto and it appears that local schoolchildren are not being taught their area’s history and heritage.  Wednesfield is not a “suburb” of Wolverhampton but a large village and district in its own right and was independent until 1966.  Parts of Wednesfield are in fact in South Staffordshire due to the boundary changes.

Have Wednesfield people forgotten their town’s own motto – Semper Wodensfelde – which translates to “Wednesfield For Ever”?  Do teenagers in Wednesfield now think that they live in an “area of Wolverhampton” and nothing else?  Local identity and heritage is an important issue.

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