This week was one of some significance in the history of Lowther Hall, with the installation of the Centenary Sculpture. During the day on Thursday, the girls had the opportunity to visit, view and explore the new bronze representation of two Lowther girls, captured enacting the gift exchange of roses and seeds that happens annually at the final whole school assembly with Year 12 students before they head out into the world beyond school. The reactions were universally enthusiastic, with girls affirming the choice of subject for the art work and marvelling at the folds in the fabric, the delicacy of the rose, the detail in the strands of hair and the connection between the two girls depicted.
On Friday evening, representatives from the student body, past and present staff, parents, old grammarians, the Foundation, the Earlsbrae Circle and the School Council, came together for a short ceremony to celebrate the arrival of the sculpture and to hear from the artist, Lis Johnson, the student models used as a basis for the sculpture’s creation and some reflections on the rationale for selecting the particular ritual that is represented in the work. The sculpture seeks to capture the ideas of growth for every girl during her school journey, the connections between and across year levels and the importance of ceremony and tradition throughout Lowther Hall’s history. The depiction of the girls in the School’s new wardrobe pieces: the Blinkbonnie student in the pants and top which facilitate activity and movement, alongside the senior girl in the more formal academic uniform which is in keeping with an adult dress code, is a reminder that we continue to evolve and look to the future without devaluing our connections to the past.
Personally, I love our new sculpture. To me, the warmth that it conveys is a reflection not only of the fact that it captures one of our most moving ceremonies through the year, but also a result of the care, enthusiasm and pride of all those who were involved with its creation and installation. From our student models, to the senior staff who developed the concept, through the parents and friends who put in significant fundraising efforts to pay for it and the artists who created it, each person brought with them values of collaboration, care, a desire to create something truly excellent and a joy in being involved.
Thank you to all who have been a part of realising this significant project. I hope that when you have an opportunity to see the sculpture, you will love it too.
Ms Elisabeth Rhodes