Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Decorated School Workshop 25 June 2011

Right, Patricia Tew's family in front of her St Nicholas mural.
Below, pupils talking about the murals.

Right Jo Sellam, Stephen Novy & Andrew Saint.
Below Lunch time with mural as backdrop.

The first open seminar/workshop of The Decorated School Research Network was hold on Saturday 25 June, 2011 at Templewood School, Pentley Park, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.
Templewood School, as a setting for the workshop, is a good example of aesthetic and educational co-operation that the Decorated School Research Network is investigating. Hertfordshire was well known after WWII for its progressive building programme of new primary schools. Sir John Newsom, Chief Education Officer & C H Aslin (the very first) Chief Architect of Hertfordshire left a fantastic legacy of enlightened children-centric schools. Each new school had an allowance in the build budget for its own unique artwork to be carried out at the finish of construction. Templewood, constructed in 1949-50, had three wonderful murals painted by Patricia Tew, an artist who had recently finished her degree at The Slade. Along with the murals, the bright & bold colour scheme for the school walls was very carefully chosen. The original 1950 school must have been wonderful to see.
Our day proved to be relaxed, friendly and fascinating. After coffee & introductions by Project Leader, Dr Catherine Burke, Dr Jeremy Howard gave a highly interesting talk entitled "Painted, sculpted, stitched, tiled, metallic, glazed and landscaped schools (1870-2012)".
After a buffet lunch, Templewood School parent, Soo Hitchin, gave a short talk on Patricia Tew and the painting of the Templewood Murals. This was followed by an open discussion in front of each of the three murals. Two sons & a wife, one daughter& one grandaughter of Patricia's were present. From this wonderful discussion many interesting insights into the murals were discussed and gained. Andrew Saint (English Heritage Architectural Historian) told us the anecdote of Cleve Barr, Templewood project architect, with who Patricia had worked on the murals. He had been born Bert Baby, but due to teasing at school, had changed his name to Cleve Barr.
After listening to Templewood pupils talk about the murals, we listened to Professor Roy Kozlovsky's excellent & insightful talk "Colourism at the Hertfordshire School". After this rich and rewarding day, we finished with a visit to Swallow Dell school (nearby) to see the stunning Julian Trevelyan and Mary Fedden Mural. The day had also been expertly filmed by Emily Blickem.

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