The childrens' carvings from left to right depict: Quarrying, Tilgate Park, Iguanodon Fossil, "Roots to Grow & Wings to Fly" (the school motto), Tilgate Forest, Charcoal Burning, and Donald Campbell's Bluebird.


The Oaks First School 2004
Tilgate, Crawley, West Sussex
Materials : English Oak
Commissioned by: Crawley Borough Council

The seat entitled Tilgate Oaks is the culmination of a lengthy and involved project working with the children of The Oaks First school in Tilgate, Crawley. At the time of the project the school was operating in its last year as a middle school. This was the pilot project for the “Leaving a Mark” programme, initiated by Crawley Borough Council. The purpose of the project was for the children of the school to connect with the local community in the making of a sculptural work that would be 'given' to the community as a gift from the school.



The project involved the children researching the history of the parcel of land known as Tilgate, and developing sculptural ideas based on site visits and the researched material. A series of carving workshops over ten days took place, where all the children inlvolved in the project carved the images contained in the seat back. These images are all linked to the life of Tilgate.

My hope was to encourage the children to see themselves as part of a line of people and events within their community, and to empower them to positively change their future and their environment.