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From Chicago to Sunderland – children “amazed” as Boeing 747 engine sculptures land in their school playground

Children at Fulwell Junior School were “amazed” when they arrived at school last week to find two giant Boeing 747 engines had landed in their playground and were now taking pride of place in the school’s grounds.

By Neil Fatkin
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 12:54 pm

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The engines had been adapted to create two modern art sculptures created by Turner Prize nominee and critically acclaimed artist Roger Hiorns.

Previously on display at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the striking designs have been loaned to the school from the Arts Council with the loan facilitated by the Winter Gardens in Sunderland.

After being removed from a decommissioned aeroplane, the sculptures began their artistic life in the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Even before taking pride of place in the playground, the project caught the eye of local residents as the two giant engines were lowered into place via a crane.

The project was coordinated by Assistant Headteacher and Art Lead at the school, Katrina Humphries.

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Mrs Humphries said: “The reaction of the children to the sculptures has been absolutely amazing. The couldn’t believe their eyes when they arrived at school to see these constructions in their yard.

Children at Fulwell Junior School have been "fascinated" by the installation of the Boeing 747 engine sculptures in their playground.

"Some of the children wondered whether they should be here; had there been a crash? There were even comments they had come from outer-space.

“They’ve been fascinated but very quickly got used to them. A lot of children sit quietly at break-times and look at the sculptures while others have been bringing their sketch books out to draw them.

“Every-time they look at them they find something new.”

On of the two Boeing 747 engine sculptures, created by Turner Prize nominee Roger Hiorns, which now take pride of place in Fulwell Junior School's playground.

The school hopes to use the engines to promote learning across other areas of the curriculum.

Mrs Humphries said: “This is part of our Take Flight project which explores the link between Art and Science. We’ve already been looking at the science behind bird flight and are going to be looking at the engineering aspect of flight.

"We also have other works on display from well known artists and would like to establish the school as an Arts hub which can be visited by members of the public.”

Roger Hiorns is planning on visiting the school in June to see where his sculptures will be residing for the next three years. He came to the attention of the national media in 2016 when he buried an aeroplane in a hillside.