Light Up Trails prize winning school in action at Light the South

A Hampshire school is once again making magic in lights thanks to a ‘grand’ prize from Light Up Sir Harold Hillier Gardens at Christmas.

Noadswood School in Dibden Purlieu scooped the £1,000 prize for its art department after student Charlie Hudson’s design was selected as the winning entry in the Christmas light trail attraction’s schools challenge to design artworks to illuminate Hillier Garden’s iconic Jermyn’s House last year.

The prize money, funded by Light Up Trails and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, was spent on joining Light the South, the exciting public art project in Southampton and Cowes that will see 40 eight-foot lighthouse sculptures on display in the streets and public spaces of Southampton and Cowes for eight weeks in July and August.

In aid of Southampton Hospitals Charity, each lighthouse has been decorated by artists to create a family-friendly trail of discovery for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Noadswood is one of 40 schools and community groups exhibiting mini lighthouses as part of Little Lights, Light the South’s learning programme, from Saturday 6 July.

“It was such a fantastic opportunity for our art students to become involved in Light the South, all funded by our prize money from Light Up Trails at Hilliers,” says Noadswood headteacher Kathryn Marshall.

“We love our work with both Light Up Trails and Hilliers because it inspires creativity and upskills our students in working at scale. They designed the lighthouse collaboratively, and they were very keen to represent the history of Southampton with a Noadswood twist, by using imagery of the city, incorporating our House colours. Painting on a large circular surface was a challenge for the students to rise to, and they produced a stunning final piece.

“We couldn't be prouder.”

Following the Light the South art trail in July and August, the lighthouses will be brought together for one last time in September before being auctioned off in aid of Southampton Children’s Hospital.

“Light the South is a really inventive project in aid of a fantastic cause and everyone at Light Up Trails is thrilled that the prize has helped Noadswood School take part,” say Light Up Trails co-directors Libby Battaglia and Lucinda Croft.

“As a local company, Light Up Trails is passionate about supporting the arts in the New Forest and helping inspire young artists to explore their creativity. Light art is incredibly accessible and against the backdrop of one of the country’s most important botanical gardens, right here in the New Forest, we’re lucky enough to see the magic it generates every evening.”

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