Stokbord goes global for Olympic art project

September 08, 2011 at 4:11 PM

A striking global sculpture made from Stokbord® recycled waste plastic has become the stunning centrepiece of an Olympics-inspired art education project.

The 1.4-metre sphere of schoolchildren's silhouettes was cut from board material more commonly used for walkways, fencing, cable protection and animal pens. It was donated by Centriforce, the UK's largest independent plastics recycler, which manufactures Stokbord from waste carrier bags and film that would otherwise be destined for landfill or export.

The sculpture is the work of Brighton-based artist and graphic designer Nick Sayers, who selected Stokbord plastic sheet to create the piece with pupils at Cherrywood Primary School in Farnborough. The children modelled for their silhouettes in national costumes from as far and wide as Nepal, Albania and Ghana. Nick then had their outlines machine cut from Stokbord and the children helped sand and bolt the pieces together into a lattice, forming the final spherical structure.

"My work centres on taking everyday recycled or repurposed materials and transforming them into something completely different," explains Nick. "Stokbord is an ideal material for a sculptor to work with because it has a good balance of flexibility and rigidity. It's much more forgiving than, say, acrylic, but has enough strength to bend to shape, and is easy to cut. Furthermore, I am passionate about sustainability, so using a recycled material was high on my list of priorities.

"The finished sculpture will be permanently displayed in the school grounds, and Stokbord is resilient enough to withstand the outdoor elements and for children to play inside," he added. Nick was selected to work with the school through Festival Makers, an awards scheme for artists to work with young people in North Hampshire to create artworks for world arts festivals celebrating the Olympics. The project was organised by The Making, a leading craft and design education charity based in Hampshire, and funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

The sculpture had its debut at the World Party In The Park, a world arts event organised by The Making at Eastrop Park in Basingstoke. During the festival, Sayers ran a giant pantograph drawing workshop, using more Stokbord sheets as ground protection mats to provide a level surface on the grass.

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