Solihull art student takes part in Birmingham’s Big Read BookBench
Wednesday, 27 July, 2016

A Solihull College & University Centre art student has used her artist flare to design a bookbench which forms part of Birmingham’s Big Read Trail for the summer.

Last year Birmingham was overtaken by decorated owls for the Big Hoot and this year the benches will replace the owls over the city. The aim of the trail is to encourage young people to read over their summer break from school.

The benches were designed by children from a number of primary schools across the region.

College student Jessica Ladkin, who is currently studying towards her Level 3 extended diploma in art and design at Solihull College & University Centre, was able to work with pupils at Gilbertstone Primary School to design the bookbench as part of her work experience at the school. Jess jumped at the chance of completing her work experience at the local primary school and once she had impressed the teachers at the school by showing her recent artwork from College she began working with the children on the project immediately.

Jess spoke with the children about what made a book special and they decided it was the characters and they would therefore be the inspiration for the design. The characters included the BFG, Paddington Bear and Harry Potter to name a few.

Once Jessica had the names of the children’s favourite literary characters she began to draw the design and then was faced with the tough task of impressing the children of Gilberstone School with her work. Thankfully, the children and teachers at the school loved Jess’s artwork and she received the seal of approval to begin transferring her design on to the bench.

Upon completion of the bench, it was time to position it in place in Birmingham’s Museum & Art Gallery where it can now be seen along with the 174 benches around the city throughout the summer.

Jess commented: “Solihull College allowed me to work very independently on this project. The time I had to complete the bench was shortened so I had to work faster but still with the high quality work I wanted. I feel that the College has taught me that in art, you have to work quickly and efficiently in order to finish a task to a dead line.”

Jess will be moving on to the second year of her art diploma in September and hopes to continue her studies at University by studying Fine Art, allowing her to progress within her career.

For more information on the courses available please visit the courses page or call 0121 678 7000.

Art student Jess Ladkin