Creative Welwyn Hatfield pupils to showcase art nearly 6,000 miles away

Pupils from Oaklands School with headteacher Julie Petitt, arist Akane Takayama and project director

Pupils from Oaklands School with headteacher Julie Petitt, arist Akane Takayama and project director Jack Adams. Credit: Akane Tayakama and Paul Busby - Credit: Archant

An artist is inspiring an art exchange between schools around Welwyn Hatfield and schools in Japan.

Dog sculptures in the London project in 2010 Credit: Akane Takayama

Dog sculptures in the London project in 2010 Credit: Akane Takayama - Credit: Archant

Japanese artist Akane Takayama, who lives in Welham Green, is mounting a contemporary public art sculpture in Tokyo.

As part of the project, four primary schools are taking part in a cross-cultural exchange with Gekehara Elementary School in Meguro-ku, Tokyo.

Pupils from Oaklands, Homerswood, Welwyn St Mary’s and Ponsbourne Primary Schools will exchange artwork, illustrated texts and other work with the Japanese school.

The schools will produce artwork which relates to the curriculum, and which will be exhibited publicly in libraries and museums. Some of the artwork will then be sent to the schools in Tokyo, where it will be put on display, and the Japanese school will send artwork to be displayed at the schools in the UK.


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Project director Jack Adams said: “The public artwork will be between 250 to 500 of Akane’s cardboard dogs. The dogs have a little pouch on the back of their necks.

“At the end of the workshops in schools we get the children to write their hopes for the future, what sort of world they would like to see. These go on a small piece of paper in the back of the dogs.

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“During the public display in Tokyo people can pull them out and read them. The adults looking at the public sculpture can connect with the children.”

The sculpture will be installed in Tokyo in September 2017.

Any Hatfield schools interested in taking part can contact Jack Adams on jack@takethepebble.com

For the full story see the Welwyn Hatfield Times, out now.

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