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GWP Packaging helps art students with GCSE project

Matt Dobson: Last Updated 17th February 2022
Posted In: Community / Charity | Company News
https://www.gwp.co.uk/author/Matt-Dobson/ xx 31179

Abingdon Pupils Get Creative

Supply of cardboard discs aids project inspired by artist Frank Stella

GCSE students from Larkmead School in Abingdon, have used cardboard material supplied by GWP in a creative art project inspired by the artist Frank Stella.

The corrugated material – cut into discs and donated by GWP to the school – allowed students to create their own designs based on work by the pre-eminent artist.

students creating cardboard art
GWP Packaging have supplied raw materials for a GCSE art project at Larkmead School

About the project

Larkmead School, based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, originally approached GWP about the project in November 2020.

Jenny Green, one of the art teachers at the school, requested a number of cardboard discs for her GCSE students to use when creating artwork as part of a project inspired by American artist Frank Stella.

However, with lockdowns and government instructions for home learning coming into force soon after, the project was somewhat delayed.

Nevertheless, once students returned, they commenced work on the project to produce some incredibly interesting pieces of artwork.

Jenny commented:

We weren’t sure if GWP would be able to help with our request, especially given the strain that most businesses were under due to coronavirus restrictions and rules.

She added:

When they indicated they would be able to help we were over the moon! The cardboard discs supplied have been perfect for the students to work with, and have allowed them to come up with some very creative designs.

How GWP helped

Having worked with various colleges and schools on similar projects in the past, GWP were more than happy to help when approached by the school.

Although the request was relatively straightforward – entailing the cutting of circular discs from corrugated materials – it was ensured that a suitable material was chosen. As such, an “EB” double walled grade was selected, providing good durability and strength whilst also being lightweight and easy to work with.

cardboard disc artwork
Students working on their cardboard artwork

In fact, the discs proved so successful that Larkmead school requested a number of further discs, which GWP supplied in January 2022.

Ruth Cook, Managing Director at GWP Group, commented:

We like to help out with educational and community projects wherever we can. So when we were approached by the school, we were happy to help.

She added:

It is always fascinating to see the designs and ideas that the students produce, and the standard of work created has been very high. Some of the designs are incredibly detailed and colourful, and are really quite impressive.

Frank Stella

The project that the cardboard discs were used for was inspired by the renowned artist, Frank Stella.

Born on May 12, 1936, Stella is an American painter, sculptor, and printmaker, noted for his work in the areas of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction

Early visits to New York art galleries fostered his artistic development, and his work was influenced by the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. He moved to New York in 1958, where he became heralded for creating abstract paintings that bear no pictorial illusions or psychological or metaphysical references in twentieth-century painting.

His work received considerable critical acclaim, and in 2009 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by (then) President Barack Obama. He has also received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture by the International Sculpture Centre, as well as an honorary Doctorate from the University of Jena (in Germany).

He also enjoyed much commercial success. Perhaps the most well know sale of his work was when, in May 2019, Christie’s set an auction record for Stella’s Point of Pines. The piece sold for $28 million!

Artwork gallery

The below gallery showcases a range of the artwork produced by the Larkmead students, as well as showing them working on their pieces. Please click the thumbnail for a larger image.

About Larkmead School

Larkmead school was originally founded in 1956, following the Abingdon borough decision that a larger school was needed to serve the surrounding area.

Having previously been a community school administered by Oxfordshire County Council – and having undergone many changes to its building and facilities over the preceding 60 years – the school converted to academy status in 2017. It is now sponsored by the Vale Academy Trust.

Larkmead School puts great emphasis on being a caring and carefully fostered ‘learning community’ built on trust and respect, in which every student matters. The community feel it fosters aims to encourage every student to enjoy their time at school, to exceed expectations, to be proud of their achievements, and to be aware of their responsibility in the wider world.

For further information, you can visit the Larkmead School website by clicking here.

Larkmead School
Larkmead School, based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Similar projects GWP have worked on

GWP have always been keen to get involved in working on projects with local schools and colleges.

Most notably, this has included helping Swindon College students host art exhibitions in the Brunel shopping centre. These displays promoted GWP’s twenty-fifth anniversary, and highlighted recycling of waste material, respectively. For both exhibitions, the artwork was created using only cardboard or waste packaging materials.

Ruth Cook presenting Richie Holmes with the trophy for best overall artwork
Ruth Cook presenting Richie Holmes with the trophy for best overall artwork at GWP's TWENTYFIVE event

Besides this, GWP have supplied cardboard Christmas trees to pupils at Catherine Wayte Primary School in North Swindon, and the children at St Sampson’s School in Cricklade. The trees from St Sampson’s were, once decorated, donated to Whitbourne House care home in Swindon. GWP also helped with a similar project alongside the Gloucester Deaf Association (GDA).

GWP have also previously challenged engineering students to create packaging for Swindon Foodbank, designed a cardboard house for the summer reading challenge, and even welcomed UTC students on site to see the packaging manufacturing process first-hand.

And finally, GWP have also supplied raw material to local charity, Swindon Scrapstore, which has gone on to be used in varying projects around the local area.

Swindon UTC visit GWP Packaging
The Swindon UTC students on the factory floor at GWP Packaging's Cricklade production facility

Get involved

If you are involved in any school or community projects and believe that GWP could help, then please get in touch using the details on this page.

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About the Author

Matt Dobson

Marketing Manager | GWP Group

Matt has worked in the packaging industry for approximately 9 years, having joined GWP Group as Marketing Executive in 2012. [Read full bio…]

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