Published: 20th May, 2011
by ANDREW JOHNSON
THERE was some fishy business going on at Hugh Myddelton Primary School in Clerkenwell on Tuesday with the unveiling of a sculpture created by the children with artists in residence from the Bow Arts Trust.
New headteacher Andy Turner wanted to make a splash with the opening of the new building in Myddelton Street, so when he received a cash gift from the charitable arm of an investment group and a Canadian Bank he decided that something creative was the way forward.
He commissioned Bow Arts Trust, an educational charity based in Bow, to work with all 420 children, as well as teachers, to design an arresting new entrance to the school. After many experiments they came up with a giant mobile of fish and eels.
The link, he said, was the New River, a canal opened in 1631 to supply drinking water from the River Lee. It was funded by Sir Hugh Myddelton and legend has it that because there were no filter systems fish and eels would find themselves in people’s sinks.
“Many of the schools who receive this kind of money build computer rooms but we wanted to do something creative,” Mr Turner said. “We had a new building and it was a sign of the rebirth of the school. We wanted an end product and a process the children would understand.”
He added that pupils had to research the project by visiting the National Portrait Gallery and the Wellcome Trust, where they saw the giant Bleigiessen sculpture by Thomas Heatherwick.
Artists Corinne Felgate and Nicolas Deshayes designed the final sculpture, called A New River’s End.
Mr Turner thanked the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Charitable Foundation – the charitable arm of an investment group – and Canadian banking group TD Securities for their cash gift.