January 2024

Chapel Centenary artwork – Space Whispers

To mark the centenary of our Chapel of the Holy Cross, a specially commissioned piece of artwork entitled Space Whispers was collaboratively created by students and staff in a series of workshops led by artist Michael Brennand-Wood.

The piece consists of three layers: a semi-solid, wooden base with a metal inner support structure, covered by a circular blackboard and aluminium latticework bound by interlaced tapes of cloth. Each layer is attached to the base via a central pivot which allows the blackboard to be removed and written on over and over again.

In its initial construction, students and staff worked together to individually decorate strands of cloth. The threads of cloth represent the intertwining of past and present within the School’s community, connecting people and their experiences. Students were also encouraged to write on the piece’s circular blackboard; this was inspired by the large chalkboard in Chapel which features peoples’ messages and prayers, and so, as an extension of that idea, the new blackboard on Space Whispers is a catalogue of positive prayers and hopes for a better world.

In his proposal for the piece, Mr Brennand-Wood wrote: ‘I see the artwork as a window into the wider world, a conduit, aperture through which the positivity of youth flows, a desire to create a better world. The blackboard at the centre of the artwork is a record of students’ wishes and aspirations and critiques. I see the blackboard as a form of dendrochronology, each circle charts a school culture at a given point.’

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