Corelli Creature Carnival

Pigging out on design…

We like pigs. But even we were daunted by the prospect of decorating four life-sized fibreglass ones in two days with 125 students. The challenge, though, was the appeal.

Corelli College, London’s first co-operative school, has an ambitious approach to arts. Its plays transfer to mainstream theatres. It isn’t shy of approaching artists to work with its students. And every year it has a large-scale, two-day arts festival that’s a maelstrom of making involving a number of artists from different disciplines.

Lydia had taken part in earlier festivals where each artist was paired with one academic faculty. With the English faculty she had designed a project called ‘Heart on Sleeve’, taking the emotion of a poem and putting it on a T-shirt. The following year she had worked with the maths faculty on their idea of combining geometry and packaging.

This year has taken the festival to another level. The school has collaborated with Wild in Art, who design sculptures that are decorated for environmental use via a variety of school, community and artist collaborations. The project has involved five pairs of artists, each working with one type of animal and, as part of the National Literacy Trust’s Books About Town initiative, a book bench.

For the pig project Lydia and fine artist and film-maker Amanda Holiday have looked at the pig in the context of five areas of study: Piggy Bank, about finance and citizenship; Pig Genome (or Pigology, as the students have branded it) about similarities between human and pig DNA; Nose to Tail, about the interior world of a pig, Flying Pig, about culture; and the book bench about pigs in literature. In addition to linking the visual work back to the work of the school, the idea has been to enable teaching staff involved to contribute their academic knowledge as well as their practical teaching skills during the festival.

The pigs are on display during July in various venues across Greenwich. Click here for a location map and here for more about the Corelli Creature Carnival.