Landscape inspires art project

Working on pieces at Shoreham Academy
Working on pieces at Shoreham Academy

ADUR’S ‘gentle rolling landscape’ has helped inspire a range of artwork from students in the district.

The project was launched by Marks & Spencer at the Holmbush Centre, in partnership with Adur District Council.

Artist Steve Geliot was commissioned to create ‘gentle rolling landscape’ artwork for the Shoreham store, then used it to inspire students.

The education project, involving Shoreham Academy and Sir Robert Woodward Academy in Lancing, culminated in a touring exhibition of work.

Steve said: “Like many others, I am continually inspired and restored by the soft expansive landscape of the Downs, unfolding to the north of Holmbush.

“I sought out a huge cedar tree and decided to cut it into slices, which showed the swirling grain and organic details as they change in small incremental steps, going up the trunk of the tree to where it divides, and beyond to the smaller branches.

“Through the way these slices are arranged, this sculpture forms a drawing of the landscape and also a precious archive in timber, changing from one year to another as the layers are gradually built up, and showing how such a gorgeous natural material develops and matures over time.”

The students’ work was unveiled at a launch event at Holmbush on July 12, then went on show in East Street, Shoreham, the next day. The displays moved to Shoreham Academy and finally Sir Robert Woodward Academy last week.

Steve’s artwork was installed in the Shoreham store in spring and since then, he has been working with the academies’ art departments to give students the chance to learn about creating a piece of work inspired by the landscape, working with a professional artist.

The students spent a day and evening on the Downs to discover the changing shape of the landscape with the changing light.

There were then workshops in both academies, where the students produced drawings, paintings and 3D pieces reflecting their vision of the South Downs.

Shoreham store manager Paul Shillam said: “This project has been a hugely successful partnership between ourselves and Adur District Council, gifting the legacy of a beautiful and interesting piece of artwork to the area, while also providing local students with a unique experience.”