Primary/Bristol: Fairlawn Primary School

Harrison & Wood, One More Kilometre, 2009 © the artists. Courtesy of the artists and Foreground.


Fairlawn Primary School is part of Bristol City Council’s Primary/Bristol series of artist commissions for primary schools commissioned as part of the Primary Capital Education Programme. As part of the development Bristol based artists Harrison & Wood have been commissioned by Foreground to develop a new permanent artwork for the school.


John Wood and Paul Harrison make single-channel videos, multi-screen video installations, prints and sculptures that elegantly fuse conceptual exploration with existential comedy.

The artists’ spare, to-the-point works feature the actions of their own bodies, a wide variety of static and moving props, or combinations of both to illustrate the triumphs and tribulations of making art and everyday life. Inside this ‘logical world’, action is allowed to happen for no apparent reason, tensions build between the environment and its inhabitant, play is encouraged and the influences on the work are intentionally mixed. In their not-always-successful experiments with movement and materials, Wood and Harrison employ exuberant invention, subtle slapstick, and a touch of light-hearted melancholy to reveal the inspiration and perspiration — as well as the occasional hint of desperation — behind all creative acts.

Commissioned by Foreground as part of Bristol City Council’s Primary Capital Programme of artist commissions for primary schools, Wood & Harrison will make a series of interrelated works for Fairlawn School in 2017.

The artists will work with the school to create a series of works that explore ideas that bridge the gap between art and science. The works will exist both within the exterior play areas of the school and the internal communal spaces and even turn the new school’s signage into part of the artwork. Ideas of space and gravity, mass and movement, consequence and coincidence will inform a series of works that will stimulate intellectual and physical interaction in the pupils with the artists’ signature combination of humour and serious enquiry.

This project has been commissioned and funded by Bristol City Council. The work will be permanently housed at Fairlawn School, Bristol.

This project has been made possible through funding from Bristol City Council as part of the Primary Capital Education Programme.

Harrison and Wood

John Wood and Paul Harrison (born Hong Kong, China, 1969 and Wolverhampton, UK, 1966) Recent exhibitions and projects include Private Utopia: Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection, touring exhibition, Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art, Okayama-Shi, Japan (2015); Cual Para Tal, Museo de Antioquia, Antioquia, Colombia (2014); Work of Fiction, Studio Trisorio, Naples,
Italy (2013); Answers to questions, Frist Centre, Nashville, USA (2012); O, laugh, Laughters, MOBY, Israel (2011); No beginning No middle No end, Kunstmuseum Thun, Thun, Switzerland (2010); Some words, some more words, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2009); Notebook, PICA, Perth, Australia (2008); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2007); Art Now, Lightbox, Tate Britain, London, UK (2004); The British Art Show 5, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh (and tour), UK (2000).


Based in Frome, Somerset, Foreground brings new art to new audiences across the South West of England. We deliver an ambitious program that spans commissioning new temporary and permanent artworks in the diverse social and physical structures of communities, consultancy and development projects that explore the connectivity between the critical, social and economic aspects of contemporary art.

Fairlawn Primary School

Fairlawn School is a member of the family of Colston’s Girls’ School Trust (CGST) Schools. CGS Trust is a Bristol based multi-academy trust formed in 2012 which seeks to provide outstanding education for its pupils. Currently CGS Trust has six schools – Colston’s Girls’ School, the Dolphin School, the Kingfisher School, Fairlawn School, Bannerman Road Community Academy and Barton Hill Academy. CGS Trust aims to further develop its family of schools over the coming years and therefore it is a very exciting time for all members of the CGS Trust. As the Head of Fairlawn School it is a privilege to welcome new children and families into the school.

Families will be impressed by the space, charm and character of the building and the facilities on offer at the new school.

“It is such a privilege to become the custodian of a magnificent Victorian school building which has already seen many children through its doors. The primary aim of the CGS Trust is to enable all pupils to develop a deep passion for learning which will enable them to achieve their ambitions and become active citizens and leaders. The next generation of children to be educated at Fairlawn School will benefit from a curriculum with a focus towards science, technology, engineering, art/design and mathematics (STEAM). I look forward to welcoming all the new children and families to our wonderful new school.”

Fairlawn School will build to a maximum of 420 pupils by 2021. It will give priority for places to those children who live closest. The school plans to work closely with families and others in the community, and to use the local environment as a focus for learning