Ramsden Hall School Artwork

    • Client: Essex County Council Public Art Team and Construction Management Group, Stanley Bragg Architects, Ramsden Hall School
    • Location: Ramsden Hall School, Billericay, Essex.

Ramsden Hall School is a BESD (Behavioural Emotional and Social Difficulty) residential school for boys age 11 to 16. Ray Smith created a life-sized fibre-glass model of a reticulated python curled around the trunk of a pine tree on the driveway. He took his inspiration from the fact that in Roman mythology the ‘Spirit of Place’ was sometimes represented as a snake. The Python was made by Articole Studios and fitted around the tree without the need for any fixings to allow for growth of the tree.

The artwork in the school extension utilise a seemingly random paint splash which was generated during workshops with pupils at the school. The artist’s concept was to show how a very simple design could be elaborated to create a decorative scheme. He manipulated the image digitally, adding artificial shadows to create the illusion that the paint splashes are floating off the surface of the wall. The individual panels are set into recesses in the plasterwork so that they seem to be part of the structure of the building. The artist also specified the colours of surrounding paintwork and floor covering to create a harmonious scheme.

Decorative trellises for plants on the exterior wall of the courtyard of the extension continue the scheme. They are cut out from single sheets of plywood and painted, creating fluid shapes very different from the grids conventionally used for climbers.

People involved...