Windows, Walls & Wishes Towards 2012 & Beyond Phase 1: 2009 – 2011

In partnership with South Bucks District Council

This is a two year project leading up to the opening of the 2012 Games in London working with the Burnham Cluster of Schools and the Transformers Youth Group. We began the arts workshops in Autumn 2010 with St Peter's C of E School, Lent Rise Combined School and Dropmore Primary School working with artists Rhonda Fenwick, Gina Martin, Dawn Carroll and Suzanne O'Donnell. In Spring 2011 we carried out further workshops in St Nicolas's C of E Combined School,Dorney Primary School and with the Transformers Youth Group. The work so far includes two sculptures, two installations, short film, photography and Wishes Books which will be exhibited in Burnham Park Hall in April 2011 as part of the planned interim exhibitions leading up to 2012. These workshops and artists works will be exhibited in various locations around the villages of Burnham,Taplow and Dorney culminating in an exhibition at Taplow Court and in the Flux Gallery to coincide with the opening of the Games and the Olympic Torch coming to Taplow Court. MONA LISA Arts & Media are also working in partnership with More Than Gold a charity that brings together the Churches and Church organisations around the UK to be part of the 2012 Olympics celebrations.

The project and arts activities are aimed at being part of the Cultural Olympiad 2012. The Burnham Cluster of schools includes two senior schools and six primary schools in Burnham South Bucks, they are as follows:- Burnham Upper School, Burnham Grammar School, St Peter's, Lent Rise, St Nicholas Taplow, St Mary's Farnham Royal, Dropmore & Dorney Primary Schools. The Transformers Youth Group meet on Thursday evenings in MONA LISA's new office in Burnham Park Hall 6 - 8pm ages 11 - 15yrs. The schools, youth group and local community will engage with professional artists and MONA LISA arts & media to produce artworks concerned with the Cultural Olympiad and its aims. In particular we shall be responding to the rowing events taking place at Eton College Rowing Centre Dorney, specific places with links to the Olympics e.g. Taplow (home of Lord Desborough)

It is intended that this project will fit into the aims of the Cultural Olympiad as follows:

Windows Walls & Wishes 2012 Visual Arts Project is linked into the celebrations planned by Taplow Court and the proposed 2012 art exhibitions. The celebrations include the Campaign to bring the Torch to Taplow which MONA LISA Arts & Media fully supports. Bringing the Torch to Taplow would mean a great deal to the local communities, especially the children and young people we are working with as part of this historic event. So please give your support to the campaign by clicking the link: Support the Torch to Taplow Campaign

Windows Walls & Wishes 2012 Visual Arts Project Phase 1 2009 - 2011 The project began in 2009 facilitating arts workshops in the Burnham Cluster of Schools after school hours. MONA LISA Arts & Media engaged professional artists to carry out the workshops in response to the rowing events taking place at Dorney Lake Rowing Centre.

The artists involved were as follows:

Dawn Carroll: Artist/Sculptor worked in Dropmore Infant School Burnham and St Nicholas s Church of England School Taplow. Dawn worked with groups of ten – 15 children aged 5 – 11 yrs in each school enabling the children to make two sculptures. Dropmore School made Mark The Rower, named after Mark Hunter Olympic Gold Medallist for Rowing Beijing 2008. The sculpture is now installed in front of Dropmore School which can be viewed by the general public. In St Nicholas's School Taplow Dawn and the children made a sculpture of an athlete which they proudly called Sebastian. This is also located at the front of the school and can be viewed by the general public.

Rhonda Fenwick: Artist/Film-maker worked in Lent Rise Combined School Burnham with a group of ten children in Yr 4. Together they produced a short film, Beany Potter Goes to the Olympics which was filmed at Dorney Lake Rowing Centre. The children worked through their ideas around the theme of Beany Potter wanting to learn to row and take part in the 2012 rowing events. Beany Potter would be helped by his super-hero friends but at the same time a few monsters would try to prevent him. The character of Beany Potter was born a cross between Mr Bean and Harry Potter in a story with an age-old theme of good overcoming evil with a modern twist. A group of twenty students aged 14 – 15 yrs from Burnham Grammar School were also involved with Rhonda in a taster session before the end of the Spring term. They did some preliminary work around the Wishes part of the project. Inspired by the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy, and a poem by W B Yeats He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven. BGS will resume their work in the Autumn term 2011.

Gina Martin: Sculptor working in St Peter's Church of England School Burnham and Dorney County Combined School. Groups of between 10 – 15 aged 8 – 11yrs worked with Gina in both schools. In St Peter's School the children concentrated on the Wishes element of the project and the natural world, the London 2012 Olympics is being regarded as the first “green” Olympics. Gina organised a trip to the ancient woodland of Burnham Beeches for the children, after which they were brimming with ideas. They made Wish Boxes and filled them full of found objects from the natural world, text and drawings. These all reflected their wishes for a greener, safer world. The Wish Boxes are installed in the entrance lobby of the St Peter s school. This work can be viewed by anyone visiting the school.

Children from Dorney School worked with Gina to make their Dreaming Space out of willow. It is a large installation piece located at the back of their school and can be viewed by the general public over the fence located next to a public footpath. The school emblem of a pineapple inspired the ideas for this work. The first pineapple to be raised in England was grown at Dorney Court and presented to Charles II in 1661. Dorney School is located close to Dorney Court and the Dorney Lake Rowing Centre. Being so close to an Olympic venue the children thought it appropriate to include a canoe made from willow placed on top of their willow sculpture.

Suzanne O Donnell: Textile Artist worked with young people aged 11 – 15 yrs from the Transformers Youth Group. This group is made up of young people from the Burnham area who all attend local schools. Together they worked on ideas and designs for the Burnham Olympic Flag. Over a number of weeks Transformers worked with Suzanne to work out their designs and ideas of what the flag should look like and eventually came up with their own Olympic symbols. The flag will be flown from St Peter's Church Burnham during the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012.

Beany Potter Goes to the Olympics

A short film written and directed by children in Year 4 at Lent Rise Combined School filmed on location at Eton College Rowing Centre. This short film is part of the Windows Walls & Wishes 2012 Visual Arts Project being carried out by MONA LISA Arts & Media working with professional artists in the Burnham Cluster of Schools.

Beany Potter

The children worked with artist and film-maker Rhonda Fenwick together they discussed ideas for the film and came up with the storyline of a spoof based upon the two characters of Mr Bean and Harry Potter. Windows Walls & Wishes 2012 Visual Arts Project continues to work with the Burnham Cluster of Schools carrying out arts workshops currently with Dorney School and St Nicolas's C of E Combined School Taplow. Artists Gina Martin and Dawn Carroll have worked with approximately 30 children in the two schools over the last 6 weeks. In St Nicolas's school they made a sculpture of an athlete out of metal, and, transparent tubing filled with coloured sand, children's skipping ropes, sequins, beads, feathers and so on. The tubes also contain the children's hopes, dreams and wishes for the future and what the Olympics/Paralympics means to them. The children decided to call their sculpture Sebastian. In Dorney School they decided upon making an installation piece made out of willow to be their very own dreaming space. Taking on board the locality of the school being where the first pineapples were grown, where bees were kept in beehives. Being close to Dorney Lake, where the rowing events are taking place in 2012, there will be a rower included in the construction.