Grundon sponsors Big Sculpt at The GAP Festival

14 white cygnets displayed around a beautiful white swan at this year’s Goring and Streatley Festival, which took place over the weekend of 18-19 June, were the result of hours of hard work and a load of rubbish.

Grundon Waste Management sponsored the ‘Big Sculpt’, a free drop-in festival workshop for people of all ages in the grounds of the Swan Hotel, where a giant swan sculpture was created out of waste materials under the guidance of Oxfordshire-based artist Michelle Griffin.

The Big Sculpt, sponsored by Grundon, taking place at The GAP Festival
The Big Sculpt, sponsored by Grundon, taking place at The GAP Festival

The giant swan, which was the centrepiece of the Big Sculpt at The GAP Festival begins to take shape.

Artist Michelle Griffin works on the Big Sculpt at The GAP Festival
Oxfordshire based Michelle Griffin working on the giant swan sculpture at The GAP Festival.

During the weeks leading up to the event, festival organisers visited ten local schools across the area to work with pupils and teachers. Festival organisers, Shirley Paul and Rachel Smith encouraged them to produce a total of 14 cygnets that were displayed alongside the big swan sculpture over the festival weekend.

The cygnet made by pupils from years seven and eight at Cranford House School, Moulsford was made from a pillowcase, two t-shirts, a tablecloth, bubblewrap, plastic bags, milk cartons and even a onesie, but no-one looking at the cygnet would have guessed that such a beautiful bird was entirely the creation of waste materials that could otherwise have gone into landfill.

Pupils from years seven and eight at Cranford House School, Moulsford, creating their cygnet for The Big Sculpt at The GAP Festival
Pupils from years seven and eight at Cranford House School, Moulsford, creating their cygnet for The Big Sculpt at The GAP Festival

Pupils from years seven and eight at Cranford House School, Moulsford, creating one of the 14 cygnets using recycled materials ahead of The GAP Festival.

Shirley said: “The support from schools has been fantastic. This year a theme of the festival was ‘let your imagination fly’. This year there has been a strong education strand to the festival and local schools and pupils really embraced it.”

Vicky Senior, senior art teacher at Cranford House School, said: “Our pupils found photographs of cygnets and discussed how they wanted to make it. We created a wire frame and the pupils weaved torn up material and old clothes through the shape to create the cygnet. It’s been a lot of fun and the children have really enjoyed themselves.”

Anthony Foxlee-Brown, marketing and communications manager at Grundon, said: “It’s wonderful that so many schools wanted to get involved this year. This was the perfect way to encourage everyone to look at everyday waste in a different way. It’s amazing what a onesie can become when you’ve grown out of it.

“More seriously, the earlier the recognition of the value of unwanted goods, the better. This was the perfect opportunity to showcase beauty made out of old clothing and household items. Grundon is a family business and we love supporting community events such as the Goring and Street Festival. It has given us the opportunity to share our knowledge of how waste can be reused, recycled and recovered, which can significantly reduce the amount disposed into landfill.”

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