CXXV artwork by Lisa Temple-Cox

The artwork is a scale model of the Victorian School desk that stands in the Junior Hall, made from antique spalted beech and oak. This acts as a container for an assemblage of found objects as well as casts from moulds made by the children. The desk opens out and the contents are removable. Their purpose is to act as stimuli both for the histories researched by the children and new stories inspired by them. The desk is free-standing with handles, so it can be moved from class to class as required.

The response of the pupils to the final work was joyful and full of excitement – as was the response by the wider public on the launch day. As I’d hoped, the desk/cabinet was specific to the school, and recognised by many as such, and the contents of the cabinet were curious and suggestive enough that anyone viewing it could be intrigued – as well as finding the almost-hidden references to historical events, they could create their own stories – their personal responses to the whole project – through their interpretation of the juxtaposition of the objects within.