Giraffes Come To Life At RGS

It has been a busy week for Worcester artist and illustrator, Petr Horacek, who has been artist-in-residence at RGS Worcester for three days. Petr has been in School painting his 2.5 metres ‘Worcester Stands Tall’ giraffe for St. Richard’s Hospice, which RGS is supporting. 

Turning part of the Refectory into a ‘pop up’ artist’s studio, Petr has brought to life the project work that he originally initiated with artists in Years Seven and Eight last November. In these original workshops, the pupils created a wonderful range of giraffe designs using Petr’s favoured collographic printmaking techniques. Since November, giraffes have been very much on the pupils’ minds in Art and as the subject-matter of an ongoing scheme of work that has also enabled them to study the work of Op artists like Bridget Riley and also Pop art by Peter Blake and others.

The pupils can now see how their original designs join together to create a whole piece of art. Petr said after his workshop in November, “In my career as an illustrator I often am inspired by children’s work, and this workshop opportunity was indeed inspiring. I was impressed with how hard they worked and how much they achieved in such a short period of time. I want to use the experience and their artwork in the final giraffe. The pupils’ work really will, in essence, be the final outcome.” Petr’s final giraffe features a luxuriant foreground of deep green foliage populated with a multitude of giraffes whilst overhead fly yet more giraffes! All the individual giraffes have been made by pupils in their November workshops. Petr said about the three days at RGS, “I really enjoyed working on the final giraffe and was pleased to overcome the technical challenges working on a significant scale and with such an unusual shape. What really made the giraffe work was utilising the pupils’ designs that reminded me how much fun we had doing the workshops. I realise that this was a really great opportunity for everyone to be involved and that everyone can be involved. Being an artist is about having fun and working with enthusiasm and it’s essential never to be scared and try new things.”

During his three days at RGS this week, and once again working alongside Petr, have been pupils in Years Seven and Eight, painting camouflage patches in Op, Pop and Art Deco styles for our very own RGS baby calf giraffe. 

This smaller giraffe is very proud in sporting its coat of rainbow colours and jazzy designs and would very much like to stand tall for Worcester in support of St. Richard’s Hospice. We are very grateful to the AOOE organisation for underwriting the RGS contribution to ‘Worcester Stands Tall’ and there have been a number of fundraising projects led by Mrs Joanna Marsh to reimburse the AOOE. Not least of which has been Jo undertaking an aerobatic loop-the-loop raising money for the Hospice as well as organising ‘Flourishing Fivers’ and 8B organised a Dance-a thon. The Year Eights have raised over £3,000. During the three days painting the giraffe this week there have been break time charity stalls and a giraffe copper mountain, both provided by the RSG’s Lower Sixth Form organised by Helena Morgan. RGS has handsomely embraced the whole project and Petr’s giraffe is testimony to the hard work by all. The collective term for a group of giraffes is ‘tower’ and it can be truly said that Petr’s giraffe combined with Year Seven and Eight Is a towering achievement.