Cross-curricular film to be screened at Salisbury Schools Art Exhibition

Bedales Prep, Dunhurst
The Teddy Bear Gods
The Teddy Bear Gods
The Teddy Bear Gods
The Teddy Bear Gods

A cross-curricular film produced by Bedales Prep, Dunhurst is set to be screened at the annual Salisbury Schools Art Exhibition 2021.

Dunhurst’s film, The Teddy Bear Gods – Relics of a Technological Age, will be screened at the exhibition, along with pupils’ artwork. Images from the project are also set to be included in an accompanying online exhibition.

The culmination of a Block 1 and 2 (Year 7 and 8) project on the theme of ‘Future Archaeology’, The Teddy Bear Gods is a ‘mockumentary’ about the archaeological discovery of a hoard of artefacts from an age in the present, discovered in the future. The project saw the collaboration of Dunhurst’s Art and Design, Drama, Music, Dance and English departments, and the school’s younger pupils were also invited to contribute.

Inspired by The Tribe that Held the Sky Up – an early art installation and mockumentary by Cornish artist David Kemp, based around a fictitious archaeological discovery from the ‘post-machine age’ somewhere in ‘Britland’ – pupils thought about the discoveries archaeologists of the future might find if they were to uncover a Sutton Hoo-style hoard in Dunhurst Outdoor Work.

Pupils produced props for the video by collecting old, discarded technological items – such as old iPhones and computers – and repurposing them, applying parts to make totem poles, masks, chariots and chairs. Group 1 (Year 4) pupils also made papier-mâché teddy bears in a nod to artist Grayson Perry’s exhibition, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, and his representations of his teddy bear, Alan Measles – “the teddy bear that is like a God to me”.

Dunhurst’s Head of Art and Design Susan McFarlane said: “After the unsettling events of the past year, we wanted to work together on something fun, imaginative and exciting, to get children thinking about the world we live in, in a playful and creative way. The underlying message in the project is a poignant one. We are living in the technological age, and the junk amassed for the project is part of the detritus of our civilisation – an ecological issue of our time.”

After watching The Teddy Bear Gods, David Kemp commented: “Everybody seemed to be really enjoying themselves – some great teddy icons and rubbish relics! I wish we could have done stuff like that when I went to school, rather than just the three Rs [reading, writing and arithmetic]. Well done folks!”

The finished film will be screened at the Salisbury Schools Art Exhibition, taking place at Salisbury Library, from 10-25 June 2021. Pieces of the pupils’ artwork created for the project will also go on display at the exhibition, which will be accompanied by an online exhibition here.