We have been sponsored by RWE npower and Arts and Business Cymru to produce a DVD, seating and artwork for an outdoor classroom for their new education centre, ACE2, at Aberthaw Power Station in The Vale of Glamorgan.
We worked with 32 children, aged 8 -11, from 3 local primary schools to develop this Community Arts project. We explored the coal-fired power station and learnt about its operation as well as considering the challenges between our use of electricity and the effect of its production on the environment.
Over a number of workshops we investigated themes of design including function, fitness for purpose, strength of materials, sustainability and aesthetics. The children were inspired by the shapes and textures observed at the power station, its setting next to the sea and the origins of coal from fossilised plants.
We discussed how the environment relates to the seating and its relationship with the user. The children created poems based on their experience of the power station including wonderful lines such as: “Noise like thousands of people saying shhh at the same time”, “Roaring water like a monster in the room” and “Electricity running like a race car.”
The children produced design plans for their seats and modeled these in clay. The next step is to develop one of these designs and create the seating and artwork that will hopefully inspire future visitors to the Centre to think about many of the issues about power, energy consumption and the environment.