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Commission for Grange Academy, Kilmarnock, 2010

Updated on 10 October 2010

Since March 2009, I have been Artist in Residence at the Grange Academy, Kilmarnock, Scotland, during which time I have undertaken various projects with the students, covering a wide range of skills and techniques. It was out of this that I was asked to undertake a major commission of their new building, and in consultation with students and Staff a theme for 12 felt panels was agreed - one that would reflect the Campus in its location. Its surrounding roads are named after trees and plants, many of which became the inspiration for panels. Throughout the whole project, I have worked closely with the students and staff, and in fact I began the preparation of the 'cartoons' (full scale paintings from which each felt panel would be based) and completed the first one during that particular week. Each panel reflects the seasons - from later Spring, through Summer and Autumn, to Winter, with the final tree falling and losing all colour. Incorporated in each panel are lines of poetry written by Katrina Cumberland, a 3rd year student, in response to my ideas.

Progress so far: 

Initial plan as a rough sketch for discussion.

Commission plan 3 Commission plan 2 Commission plan 1 The overall design of the panels 'reads' from right to left, as the entrance to them will be from the right

Collage made up of images taken by the photography students and myself in a nearby park

collage 5 collage 4 collage 3 collage 2 collage 1

Cartoons, in readiness for feltmaking

cartoon 11 cartoon 10 cartoon 9 cartoon 8 cartoon 7 cartoon 6 cartoon 5 cartoon 4 cartoon 3 cartoon 2 cartoon 1

Panels prior to the text being written

Panel 11 felted      Commission Panel 8 Panel 7 Panel 6 Panel 5 Panel 4 Panel 3 Panel 2 Panel 1

Key to Panels:

  1. Late Spring: Cherry and Almond

  2. Summer: Laburnum and Lilac

  3. Summer: Olive and Jasmine

  4. Summer: Willow and Fern

  5. Autumn transition: Willow and Fern

  6. Autumn: Larch and Maple

  7. Autumn: Beech

  8. Autumn: Rowan and Laurel

  9. Autumn into Winter: Birch

  10. Winter: Pine and Holly ('Scots Pine' substituted in final felt)

  11. Winter: Oak (Shape slightly altered in final felt for aesthetic reasons)

  12. 'The numbed Oak, exhausted and silent' (words by Katrina Cumberland)

The completed panels, with poetic text:

12 Panel 11 Panel 10 Panel 09 Panel 08 Panel 07 Panel 06 Panel 05 Panel 04 Panel 03 Panel 02 Panel 01 Panel

Details from Panel 12, showing poetic texts:

12 Panel, det 1 12 Panel, det 2

Presentation of Panels to the Academy on temporary frames. Eventually they will be placed in sequence on a wall.


'The Enchanted Forest', panel for the Primary School's Library - to be used for story-telling and creative writing. Made by the Primary School children from Year 1 upwards, over 3 days.

Enchanted Forest in Library