As part of the multi-million pound ‘Building Schools For The Future’ programme, the newly built £27.5m Kelvin Hall School opened in the autumn of 2012.
To celebrate the state-of-the-art new facility, a group of 10 students were given the job of creating a high impact permanent artwork installation for the main central atrium. The Year 11 group were working towards a GSCE and BTEC in photography and were asked to develop the photographic artwork and display concept for the permanent feature, which will continue to be displayed long after the students leave.
The project brief was to photographically capture the ‘Iconic Architecture & Architectural Surfaces Of Hull In The Lead Up To The City Of Culture’. Permissions were gained to visit and photograph many key locations, including Hull University, the Humberside Police Divisional HQ, the Humber Quays, the Albemarle Music Centre, Hull Truck Theatre, St Stephens Shopping Centre and the KC Stadium.
After completing and selecting the final photographs the group then had to decide on how the images were going to be transformed into the final installation. Together they helped to decide the aesthetic impact, scale of the artwork and finishing materials whilst considering the practical constraints of working to a fixed budget and how the work was to be installed on such a large area of wall.
Keen not to simply mount conventional panels of photographs to the wall, the students, teaching staff and artist opted for a high impact system where the photographs were integrated into the fabric of the installation. Working closely with Hull based, bespoke acrylic fabrication company Ino-Plaz, miniature cardboard prototype models metamorphosed into an inspired and vibrant permanent feature, which replicated a traditional unwound roll of film. Drape formed acrylic panels spanning 20 metres had the images applied using a printed vinyl and then were covered with an anti reflective film, allowing the students work to be shown to its full potential.
Finally to complete the installation a quotation by group member Kate Walker ‘Creativity is what makes life fascinating’ was placed along with the innovative curved photographic acrylic panels. The waves and obscurities seen in the artwork complemented the clean lines seen in the school’s contemporary architecture.