Thursday, 17 May 2012

Private Commission - St Ambrose College Old School - IN PROGESS

On our first circuit around the Cheshire Ring, I met with Michael Thompson, the head teacher at St Ambose College in Hale Barns, near Altrincham, whilst moored in Stockton Heath.

St Ambose College, a Catholic Grammar all boys school, is relocating to a £25 million new building in the same grounds. A fascinating new build that has the exterior appearance of a Celtic cross from the air and has the grandeur and drama of a theatre in the round from the inside. The move is due to happen at the end of this academic year, leaving the current school buildings redundant and due to be bulldozed. Michael had discovered my work and thought I could produce a fitting tribute to the old school before it was demolished. He had seen some of the regeneration work I had produced with BIGred Studio  and Staffordshire Housing Association, and thought I could provide a more alternative take on the building rather than standard photography or a traditional watercolour.

The buildings didn't have an obvious iconic aspect, apart from the entrance. From the tour I was given of both the old and new buildings it became obvious just how sports related the school is and in particuar, what hallowed ground the rugby pitch is. I wanted to arrive at a composition that incorporated a welcoming entrance and the rugby pitch in full swing.

Initial Sketch Book Study

Work in progress

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