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Wild in Art: Mini Moo public art competition

Wild in Art: Mini Moo public art competition

St Mary’s School Art Department promoted and hosted a Mini Moo design competition, encouraging all year groups from age 11-18 to enter their design and concept.

As part of the innovative Cows About Cambridge community public art project, our Senior School and Sixth Form girls have been working creatively and collaboratively to create a St Mary's Mini Moo design.

It has been a privilege to be part of such large-scale Art project and knowing our students have played an integral role in the design and creation of a Mini Moo. Public art is such an important way of bringing communities together and getting people to be part of collective experience. Cows About Cambridge has enabled us to creatively express what we feel is important to our school community whilst supporting ‘Break’ charity.’ Ms Conroy, Head of Art

Mary mooOur competition

Once the submissions, of which there were over forty, were collated and anonymised, the Headmistress and a team of judges chose three winners from differing Key Stages, and a series of runners-up. We were astounded by the wonderful variety of designs and the creativity of the submissions.  

Meeting our Mini Moo

After the arrival of our Mini Moo, we held a grand unveiling in a whole school assembly, in which she took centre stage as the curtain drew back to the sounds of ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ by Richard Strauss (perhaps better known as the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack).

There she stood before us in a spotlight as a blank canvas, unembellished but eagerly awaiting her adornments. The students cheered her arrival, excited to meet the new member of our St Mary’s community. The competition entry designs, and our unadorned Mini Moo took pride of place in an art department display.  

Once we had given our new arrival time to settle in, we gathered our team of six students, made up from winners and runners-up of the competition, to develop a unified concept from the winning design. 

Our Mini Moo was designed and created by Bella T. in Year 12, Karla C.C. and Amelia H. in Year 8, and Elanaz M., Elena B. and Ziren S. in Year 7. 

Painting Mary MooTheir unified concept was transferred onto our Mini Moo using primarily graphite, acrylic paint, Posca Pens and a varnish sealant. She is adorned with symbols which represent the breadth of subjects that our students’ study within our creative curriculum at St Mary’s.

The rainbow paintwork represents equality, knowledge, creativity and fun. Ms Mary Moo is loving her new look!

Ms Mary Moo is lovingly named after our benefactor Mary Ward (1585-1639), a nun who tirelessly promoted the education of women. Here at St Mary’s School, Cambridge, we have been empowering girls since 1898, and we wanted our Mini Moo to reflect our ethos and the all-round education that St Mary’s provides. From art, drama and music to the sciences, languages and computer science, our Mini Moo is emblazoned with symbols that represent the breadth of our creative curriculum. 

Our creative concept

Ms Mary Moo is our symbol of education and its role within our lives and our future. Education has the power to changes lives. It gives us knowledge of humankind and facilitates quality learning all through life.

Education opens opportunities to progress and better ourselves. It supplies us with information, reasoning, creativity, and concepts of justice and equality. It is through education we can develop a sense of perspective and context about the world around us.

Investment in education has led to advancements in the Arts, Sciences and Technologies. However, we cannot stop the fight to promote equality in education globally as we see that 57 million children have never experienced stepping inside a classroom.

Full design Mary MooOnce Ms Mary Moo is returned to us, from the wider Cambridge exhibition, she will take pride of place in our Senior School. We are so pleased with how she represents our ethos we want her to warmly greet visitors as they arrive. 

Mâché Moo’ project

In order to further explore the ‘Cows About Cambridge’ concept, St Mary’s hosted a ‘Mâché Moo’ project in the spring term with all Year 9 Art students. 

During their lessons Year 9 designed and created their own papier-mâché cow inspired by an artist of their choice and theme they were passionate about. The St Mary’s School grounds then hosted our own mini mâché moo herd. Students in all year groups were encouraged to explore and find the location of the mâché moos.

I enjoyed painting with my friends and working together to create something that represents our school ethos. I think our design clearly shows our concept and ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing it out and about in Cambridge. Amelia H

I felt that working as a team was a lot of fun, and I was really proud to be part of it and that my design was chosen. I enjoy art and being creative so for me this was a great project to be part of. I hope the public will like what we have created, it’s very exciting to know that people will see it. Karla C-C

The Mary moo project was extremely exciting to do as we were able to express our arty side and create a wonderful mini cow. It gave me a chance to take part in something big and it was a great opportunity to practice and find ways to get better in art. This was an amazing way to spend time painting a unique St Mary's School cow and I enjoyed looking at the finished project and what we designed. Elena B.

Ms Avery, St Mary's Headmistress comments:

St Mary’s School is delighted to be part of this innovative and ambitious community art project. Our school community has enjoyed watching our Mini Moo become decorated. We hope that the whole herd of Mini Moos will give pleasure to those who live, work or visit Cambridge and help all of us become yet more mindful of the beauty of our natural surroundings and the importance of fenland and farmland to Cambridge and Cambridgeshire.

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