Students unveiled a new sculpture at a primary school last week to support the arts.
Funded by The National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) and a local donor, ‘The Tree of Life’ was designed by the students at Amberley C of E First School and created by artist Tim Stankus.
Head teacher Michelle Clifford said: “We wanted to involve the children in designing a sculpture for our grounds and also introduce them to a different sort of artist.
“We commissioned Tim Stankus, an artist blacksmith, to come into school and talk to the children about what he did. He also explained what his material, metal, could do.”
The pupils got hands on and designed branches for the tree, incorporating animals, shapes and patterns into their designs.
“Tim came in several times and we worked with Play-Doh to finalise some of the details that he would put in the tree.
“This was a very different project and the children learnt a lot about a very different craft. They were thrilled to see their details interpreted in metal when we unveiled the tree.
“They took possession of their tree by hanging little wooden tree cookies on it which they had named and drawn living creatures and plants on.
“At different times of the year we can use the tree in different ways especially at Easter and Christmas so that it is a constantly evolving and personal sculpture.”
Vice Chairman of the West Sussex Decorative and Fine Arts Society, Ann Gilham, said she is ‘proud’ of all those who took part in the project.
“Our thanks to Michelle who was clearly the inspiration behind the it and who has enabled it to reach this wonderful conclusion.
“Thanks must of course go to Tim who has had the difficult job of interpreting the children’s designs and then producing such a wonderful piece of lasting art that will impact on the children for years to come.
“Lastly, to the children who used their creativity to design aspects of the Tree of Life.”
Mrs Gilham said that creativity must be encouraged where ever possible for future generations to enjoy.
NADFAS is a leading arts charity which encourages the world of the arts through a network of local Societies and national events.
Society affiliate members can also become involved in conservation volunteering projects.
For details email firstname.lastname@example.org.