Mint + Mabel show the value of creativity in Schools

The following article was kindly provided by Cotswold Collective Partner Mint + Mabel.

Warden Hill Primary School in Cheltenham were really excited to move into their new school building this year. The new sustainable building looks amazing, but there was something missing… The walls needed some character and a bit of colour! So Erin and Hattie from Mint + Mabel eagerly transformed the new space. Mint + Mabel designed and painted four colourful murals, one in each of the reception classrooms and one in each of the reading nooks in the atrium.

Creating Murals for Warden Hill Primary School

Looking after the planet is a value we (Mint + Mabel) feel strongly about so we were thrilled to have the opportunity to work in a carbon neutral school which has considered sustainability in every feature of the building. With that in mind, we try to reduce waste as much as possible and use Lick paints, which are eco friendly and low VOC – perfect for use in spaces for children.

The reception classroom designs used a composition of our Mint + Mabel signature shapes in muted shades of the school’s house colours; red, yellow, blue and green. The teachers chose ‘I wonder…’ as the central text on the artwork which we made from wooden letters (which we laser cut from sustainably sourced wood). The messaging is a key focus for the pupils, encouraging the children to be imaginative and creative through their learning. We also added an educational number line with the numbers 0 – 10 made from wood and positioned vertically on an accompanying wall as a visual aid for the children as they learn to count.

“We had lots of fun painting the murals and it was amazing to hear all the lovely comments from the children and teachers.”

Our shapes are influenced by natural forms, in a similar vein to the cutout works of Henri Matisse and Scandinavian abstract minimalism. We love this style as a way of bringing illustrated creativity together with nature and the outdoors. This is the same reason we chose to use unpainted wood for the letters and numbers and an earthy colour palette.

The reading nooks’ artwork uses Scandinavian inspired minimal illustrations of trees and rainbows to create a lovely visual welcome into the hallways and classrooms. Nurturing the children’s imagination felt like a key goal of our designs so we turned the reading nooks into nature-inspired cosy spaces where they can curl up and get lost in their books. We used the phrase ‘once upon a time…’ within the rainbow to really give this piece a fairytale-like aesthetic.

As creatives, we both feel it is important that our skills are directed towards projects that benefit the local community in the Cotswolds and surrounding areas. We love that our artwork can have a positive impact for the children and teachers each morning as they walk into school. It’s important to note that even educational artwork such as the numbers can still be aesthetically pleasing whilst maintaining an end goal of assisting their mathematics skills.

Investing in local artists to create unique pieces for the school is a great way to show prospective parents the value the school places on culture and the arts, and the positive impact this could have on their child’s journey through primary school. Some of our most vivid memories from school were in art class, we both agree that this is where we felt the most comfortable and confident. It is vital that educators continue to encourage students in the arts and we’d love to feel that our work is part of a space that does just that.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

We would like to thank Warden Hill’s headteacher Georgina Flooks and the PTA for enabling and supporting this project.

This article was provided by Mint + Mabel.  As a Cotswold Collective partner we can offer a 20% discount not only in our online shop but also on murals. Please contact us if this is something you are interested in: