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News: New eco play area cre­at­ed by Not­ting­ham Col­lege Art students

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Art and Design students at Nottingham College have worked with local community artist Shamila Chady to create a unique willow sculpture, in the shape of a giant person, for Highfields Park on University Boulevard. ‘Youth Willow’ provides an interactive natural play area for children.

The 17 Lev­el 1 Intro­duc­to­ry Diplo­ma in Art and Design stu­dents have spent five days work­ing with Shami­la and High­fields Park staff from Not­ting­ham City Coun­cil at the park. They first came up with ideas and made minia­ture mod­els using found mate­ri­als and upcy­cled pieces of wood, then worked togeth­er to choose one design to make into a reality. 

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The chosen design board with willow twigs

The group fin­ished by using wil­low weav­ing tech­niques to cre­ate a liv­ing sculp­ture with areas designed for chil­dren to explore.

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Students creating the main structure

The Park Rangers team from Not­ting­ham City Coun­cil helped the group through­out the project, and togeth­er they installed a com­mem­o­ra­tive plaque at the sculp­ture on Wednes­day 26 June.

Not­ting­ham Col­lege Art and Design stu­dent Oliv­er Cop­per was part of the group. Oliv­er is going on to study Lev­el 2 Pho­tog­ra­phy at the Col­lege in September.

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Student Oliver Copper checking out how the willow sculpture has grown since it was started.

I’ve liked the out­doors part of the project the best as I do Scout­ing. The wood­work we did is basi­cal­ly bushcraft, and I love bushcraft. 

 — Oliv­er Copper

Shami­la was pleased with the results of the col­lab­o­ra­tive project.

I was com­plete­ly blown away by the ener­gy and enthu­si­asm of the group while work­ing on this project. The stu­dents worked togeth­er as a team and cre­at­ed some­thing tru­ly amaz­ing that will be in the park for oth­ers to enjoy for years to come. 

Shami­la Chady — Com­mu­ni­ty Artist

Shami­la explained that the project pro­vid­ed an oppor­tu­ni­ty for young peo­ple to gain expe­ri­ence of new mate­ri­als and ways of work­ing, and to spend qual­i­ty time out­doors in the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment. She said: I think this is huge­ly impor­tant in today’s world. I can’t wait to do anoth­er project with Not­ting­ham Col­lege next year.”

High­fields Park Ranger Steve Clarke sup­port­ed the project. He’s pas­sion­ate about cre­at­ing things on the park that are very nat­ur­al, to com­ple­ment the more for­mal play areas. 

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l-r Students celebrating their achievements at the sculpture, with Highfields Park Ranger Steve Clarke

My remit is to work with diverse groups in the com­mu­ni­ty and get peo­ple enjoy­ing the park. The stu­dents have essen­tial­ly been vol­un­teers, and so as well as giv­ing them skills, the project has ben­e­fit­ted the park. 

Steve Clarke — High­fields Park Ranger

The sculp­ture is free to enjoy, and can be found at High­fields Park, behind the mini golf and next to the boat­ing lake. 

This sum­mer, Youth Wil­low will also be part of Not­ting­ham City Council’s new read­ing and numer­a­cy camp, Sto­ry­Parks.

Published on:
  • 9th July 2019 (2:58 PM)
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