Our students have been working with visual artist Celise Gibson to create a mural for the school library’s ‘Inspiration Space’ – a space in the library for students to seek creative inspiration, or even just to chill out with an anthology or two of great poetry.
The following is a documented account of the process so far – it’s been a great journey!
This was the location the library staff very generously donated to the project:
It was definitely in need of some livening up.
As mentioned in a blog post late last year, the first step was for some of our Senior students to work with Gibson to develop an overall concept for the mural design. Their ideas were central to the eventual concept of ‘looking at the familiar in unfamiliar ways’.
In response to this, Gibson proposed using a high-resolution flatbed scanner to manipulate the representation of various ‘common’ objects. The following is an example of some demonstration scans:
With ideas beginning to take shape, Gibson returned to the school a few weeks later to work with some Middle School students, who enjoyed experimenting with the scanning process.
In groups, the students were also tasked with creating a ‘mockup’ of the mural design, using the example scans.
Each group then submitted their design concepts for feedback from their peers.
Gibson was able to take away a number of thoughtful design ideas, enriched by some useful conceptual feedback.
Gibson then spent several weeks working with the input from the students. After finalising the scans, and their production as vinyl prints, Gibson returned to the school in early 2016 to install the mural.
Step one was to cut the vinyl into shape and determine where each print would sit on the wall.
The vinyl was installed with the assistance of Adam Jefford, an educator who is passionate about design thinking and the creative industries.
With the reveal of every vibrant image, the mural gradually came alive. Even in the rather subdued natural light, you can appreciate the vividness.
Of course, the windows got some special treatment too, with a nice interplay between the scanned images, and the environment beyond the glass.
Here is the completed space with the furniture added.
It is rewarding how the mural provides something of interest, no matter which part of the library you view it from.
We have now started adding QR codes to the installation, to encourage students to easily access the wonderful poetry on kgpoetry.com . These QR portals to the online gallery are an important part of the ‘Writers of Passage’ project, helping to promote access to, and appreciation of, student-written poetry.
The student responses to the wall have so far been great! There has been a lot of interest and we are confident there will be much more enjoyment and inspiration to come, as students continue to ‘experience’ the space in their own time, and in their own way.
So that’s where we are up to with the library mural wall! It’s been up for a couple of days now, and it is proving a big hit with the students. One librarian recently reported that during the lunchbreak the space was “like a submarine” so packed was it with students. I wish I had seen that!
We look forward to seeing the students embrace this space in their own ways, and we also hope to use the space to host future events such as our slamasaurus poetry slams.