Artist creates mural to celebrate staff and pupils at Sunderland school

Artist in Residence at Farringdon Community Academy, Mike Clay, has created a tiled mosaic in the school playground.

Artist in Residence at Farringdon Community Academy, Mike Clay, has created a tiled mosaic in the school playground.

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A MURAL has been created at a city academy to celebrate staff and pupils at the school.

Mike Clay, artist in residence at Farringdon Community Academy, has created the 50-metre mural of tiles for the school grounds.

The 1,008 tiles, of people dressed in various shades of blue, stretch along a yard in the grounds and each one has been signed by a pupil or staff member.

Mike said: “It really lifts the look of the school yard and adds some colour.

“It was actually quite a big project and I worked on putting it in place throughout the summer.

“Each tile had to be individually painted and I had to go over the signatures with paint. I must have done about 4,000 coats of paint.”

Mike worked with the students at the school initially before they broke up for the summer break, to see what they would like and everyone is delighted with the finished work of art.

He said: “The idea of the mural was to energise the school yard.

“I used 12 different shades of blue, which is the school colour, and it really softens the look of the yard.”

To make sure everyone involved with the school was included, Mike even got the new Year 7 pupils to take part in the tile signing while they were still in the neighbouring primary schools.

The Year 11s, who left the school at the end of last term, are also included.

The tile mural is the latest in a long line of artist projects Mike has worked on with the pupils at the school, including concrete sculptures in the grounds.

Mike has become involved in other aspects of school life and earlier this year he put down his paint brushes and got on his bike, to do a 300-mile charity ride to raise funds for the school’s Gambia project.