Sculpture trail unveiled at Norwich’s Hewett School

Giant creepy crawlies, woodland animals and mythical creatures have taken over the grounds of a school in Norwich.

The Hewett School on Hall Road in Lakenham has been working with local artists and launched its eco-themed project yesterday.

The sculpture trail, called 'Bright futures: a story of life' is a collaborative project which has matched local primary and complex needs schools with local artists.

Yesterday Hewett School students were joined by primary school pupils as part of the local open opportunities partnership, to enjoy 13 of the mixed media 3D sculptures created in a student-led project involving 14 to 16-year-old creative and mixed media diploma students.

More sculptures are being created alongside seven primary and special schools, parents and grandparents and community organisations such as Norwich Fringe Project and BTCV, to create a bigger trail of 20 or more sculptures.

The concept of the trail was generated by the students and it aims to encourage people to increase their knowledge and awareness of local nature and wildlife, by following a sculpture trail.

Local artists Ben Loughrill, a wood sculptor from Bungay, and Maggie Campbell, a mixed media 3D artist, have spent recent weeks working with students.

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The artists offered guidance and advice to students as they turned their ideas into works of art. Mr Loughrill said: 'It is nice to be able to share what I do with the students, and it is great that they get to take away new skills from the experience.'

Ms Campbell encouraged the students to work with new materials as they created their innovative and unique ideas using willow branches and ceramics. She said: 'It is great working creatively with the students and their own ideas.'

Sindy Moore, 16, who is studying for a creative and media diploma at Hewett through the open opportunity partnership, created 'Webster the spider' an enormous sculpture of a tarantula made from willow branches. The piece proved to be a favourite among the primary school students who attended the sculpture trail.

Thomas Forster, a year 4 student from Cavell primary school in Lakenham, said: 'My favourite insects are spiders and I like running through the legs of Webster.'

Broadcaster Mike Linley and Tilly the Tale Spinner, real name Su Squire, held workshops throughout the day yesterday encouraging the children to use their imagination and explore their surroundings which are also home to local wildlife.

Ingrid Fairman, the extended schools cluster co-ordinator, said: 'This project unites our cluster with a common purpose, with schools having a different expertise.

'Art is the vehicle to link the children to the wildlife sites on their doorstep; it will get people talking and stories flowing.'

Tom Samain, headteacher of Hewett school said the fun and colourful project was 'one of the most exciting and ambitious art projects we've ever attempted at the school.'

In September all the pieces will go on show together as a final celebration, before finding permanent homes at the schools or in the community. It is also planned that some pieces will be included in an exhibition at the Forum in July.

The trail is in front of the Hewett School in its grounds, and appointments can be made with the school to look around it by contacting the school.

Do you have an education story for the Evening News? Contact Steve Downes on 01263 513920 or email