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Fenland school has its own giraffe





It's not every day you find a giraffe in a rural West Norfolk village, but one has made its home at Marshland High School before taking part in a city art trail next year.

Following in the hoofprints of Cows about Cambridge, it’s the turn of giraffes to descend on the city’s streets – and one particular animal is set to stand out from the herd.

The work of students from Marshland High School in West Walton, the giraffe sculpture has been named Marsha and has been designed and decorated by young artists at the school.

It's not every day you find a giraffe in a rural West Norfolk village, but one has made its home at Marshland High School before taking part in a city art trail next year. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.
It's not every day you find a giraffe in a rural West Norfolk village, but one has made its home at Marshland High School before taking part in a city art trail next year. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.

Cambridge Standing Tall is the latest art project from Break, a charity working in Cambridge and the surrounding area to support young care leavers, and will feature more than 30 giraffe sculptures, each sponsored, designed, and decorated by a different organisation, business, or school in the region.

The finished pieces will be displayed around the city next year, forming an art trail for visitors and residents alike to enjoy.

“Marshland has been involved with the Break sculpture trail for many years,” said Vicky Harris, Head of Creative Design at Marshland, a member of the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

Students have designed and decorated a sculpture of Marsha the giraffe who will be part of the Cambridge Standing Tall exhibition in March. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.
Students have designed and decorated a sculpture of Marsha the giraffe who will be part of the Cambridge Standing Tall exhibition in March. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.

“Our relationship with the charity and the project has grown, and we are now part of the promotional material to introduce new sculptures and projects to all. Our first sculpture was the Hare and we have been part of the Hare, Cow and Dinosaur sculpture trails.”

With the Cambridge Standing Tall trail scheduled to take place in March, the Marshland students have been working on their giraffe, implementing a design that was chosen via an in-school competition.

“There was a whole-school opportunity to design the themed giraffe sculpture,” continued Mrs Harris. “Students were given a template that they could then design as they wished. They also had a chance to name the giraffe. The winning design was then selected by our Arts Council.”

Students have designed and decorated a sculpture of Marsha the giraffe who will be part of the Cambridge Standing Tall exhibition in March. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.
Students have designed and decorated a sculpture of Marsha the giraffe who will be part of the Cambridge Standing Tall exhibition in March. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.

Zuzanna Wilkon in Year 7 had her design chosen for the sculpture, while Key Stage 3 student Amy Locks came up with the name Marsha for the Marshland giraffe.

The young artists implementing the design include Sasha Maskova, Daniel Rust, Olivia Dudek, Inga Mojecka, Julia Didzus, Roxann Wallington, Ola Wojciechowska, Ksenija Hvesjuka, and Faith Elleray, all of whom are in Key Stage 3 at the school.

The work is expected to take several weeks, and is due to be completed by the end of this month.

Students have designed and decorated a sculpture of Marsha the giraffe who will be part of the Cambridge Standing Tall exhibition in March. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.
Students have designed and decorated a sculpture of Marsha the giraffe who will be part of the Cambridge Standing Tall exhibition in March. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.

“We started to take part pre-Covid as a way to involve our staff and students in an arts community project, and build relationships in arts and culture outside of the classroom,” added Mrs Harris.

“Initiatives like this are extremely important at Marshland. This initiative links arts and the community, and enables students to work on a project outside of the classroom. It inspires our young minds and enables students to work creatively together.

It's not every day you find a giraffe in a rural West Norfolk village, but one has made its home at Marshland High School before taking part in a city art trail next year. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.
It's not every day you find a giraffe in a rural West Norfolk village, but one has made its home at Marshland High School before taking part in a city art trail next year. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.
It's not every day you find a giraffe in a rural West Norfolk village, but one has made its home at Marshland High School before taking part in a city art trail next year. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.
It's not every day you find a giraffe in a rural West Norfolk village, but one has made its home at Marshland High School before taking part in a city art trail next year. Photo: Barking Dog Media/Ian Burt.

“Each year the students love getting involved creatively and seeing their sculpture in situ on the trail.”

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