Celebrating the Cookham Festival’s 50th anniversary and kindly sponsored by The Shanly Foundation, the large and colourful art installation that graces Cookham Moor throughout the period of the festival has been created by students at BCA (Berkshire College of Agriculture). The brief was to ensure the completed work should have a high visual impact from the pedestrian causeway, some 100 metres away, and reflect the festival’s motif of “Growing the Arts”.
In fully satisfying the brief and producing an exciting and visually appealing work to adorn the wall of the Chartered Institute of Management (CIM), inspiration has been taken from several paintings by Stanley Spencer and the local surroundings. The BCA artists looked at the variety of trees he painted and a number of these are reflected here, stylised to achieve uniformity as well as the visual impact that was an important part of the brief. The variety of bright colours used reflects the diverse landscape of the area in all seasons. Peonies, a poppy to symbolise remembrance and a sunflower to celebrate the sun’s warmth at summer time are included; all are plants that feature in Spencer paintings.
The Cookham Bridge has been located centrally as befits this important local landmark.
The portrait on the left has been simplified to reflect a more stylised depiction and at the far end the portrait of Spencer himself appears as it is displayed on the cover of the art book that is available at the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham High Street.
The final design for the installation was agreed, incorporating elements taken from the ideas of the four teams who presented their suggestions. Waterstones vouchers were awarded to Shannon Breen, Nick Banks, Megan Halsted, Kitty Gay, Meredith Richards and James Garner.
We are grateful to BCA, CIM and the Shanly Foundation for their support in enabling this imposing work to be created and exhibited as part of the festival.