Postcard after Whiteread.

Sort of beginning to think about settling into the new term. It may take a while. The school is in its final year of operation and is in a state of being run down. We only have three year groups in now, there has been no new entry of the younger pupils into the school. They have been retained by the junior schools and are being taught in mobile classrooms on the playgrounds. It is something of a mess in many ways and the future of the new high school in Lowestoft remains problematic. I could describe in detail the process of dismantlement but really the only important things are what is pertinent to the research project.

I was working today on some bits and pieces in the classroom, playing with materials and objects discarded from the the old DT room which is being closed up at the moment. I spent some time improving a postcard found at the back of a cupboard with some hole punches in the manner of Rachel Whiteread whose drawing show I saw at the Tate a week or so ago. I liked the work a lot and I was touched by her casts of the insides of boots which are a lot like the casts of shoes and bags I have on a shelf left over from a year eight girls interest in the artist some years ago. I didn’t know Whiteread cast boots but it seemed an entry level thing for a thirteen year old to cast so I was pleased to see these casts in the display of her studio objects which are a lot like the casts of my old shoes and a handbag on my shelf.

The atmosphere of the work is a lot like the DT room though. It is being emptied out and the traces of fifty years of it being a wood-work and metal-work room and then a CDT and then Dt room are being expunged. The remains of the wood store and some of the tools will be the basis for what I have decided to call the sculpture studio for this last year. The younger children will not get the chance to have the Mr Cope year eight experience because the school will be shut so I intend to give them some taste of the fairly ambitious work I attempt with the older children. Having said that I made the big Niki De Sant Phalle figure with ten year olds last year so there is no reason why they shouldn’t be capable. With the additional storage and building space though I should be able to make more than one figure at a time. And of course I have all that stuff in the cupboards that might be interesting to use one day, collected over the years, and now only a school year to do something with it.

Whitereads on the shelf at school