Wallop 1 14When tasked with creating artwork which fuses animals with mechanical components, where better to conduct some serious engineering research than the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop? Fifty Harrow Way Year 9 Art students visited the museum which is home to helicopters and aeroplanes depicting over 100 years of Army aviation.

‘Mechanimals’ is the project element of a newly introduced entry level GCSE which the Year 9’s will take in only one year. Fusing animals with mechanical components, silhouettes, juxtaposition (placing items side by side to compare and contrast) and metamorphosis (transforming a shape representing one item into a similar shape representing something else) were all explored.

Chrissy Collins, Curriculum Leader for Art, explains: “The Museum of Army Flying was the perfect venue for this trip because the range of engineering objects on display is so vast. The students were spoiled for choice deciding what to sketch and photograph. Our thanks to Mark England (who is he?) for kindly providing technical drawings which the students replicated in different media and for providing the boots and helmets which were used for the still-life task. There is nothing better than being able to illustrate a lesson in the context of a real-life environment which the students get so much more from.”

As an added incentive prizes were given to those students who had the best sketchbook content and as Mark England commented: “It was wonderful to see all the students apparently enjoying themselves, whilst being so focused on their work too. And I was amazed at the standard of some of the output that was achieved. I hope that the work they are able to take back to the classroom is of equal standard.”