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St Ambrose College's condemned building is painted by artist Rob Pointon
9:00am Wednesday 4th July 2012 in Hale & Bowdon
ART-loving St Ambrose College headmaster Michael Thompson has preserved in perpetuity the building he has been trying to condemn for the past five years.
Over the summer Hale Barns Catholic grammar school begins its long-awaited transfer from its 1950s, flat-roofed, school building to its new £24 million state of the art home, leaving the old school to be demolished in the autumn.
That is why Mr. Thompson commissioned the brilliant Potteries figurative oil painter Rob Pointon to paint the old school before the bulldozers smash it to smithereens.
Mr Thompson said: “The process of building a new school which is fit for 21st Century education means it has also become a mission in my life to have the old school demolished. But the old school has done a wonderful job for generations of young men and I know that many past pupils, parents and teachers have a strong sentimental attachment to their alma mater and we will hang Rob's wonderful work in pride of place in the entrance to the new school.”
Currently living on a narrow boat on the Shropshire Union Canal in Audlem near Stoke, while he completes a year long project painting Britain's Historic waterways, 30-year-old Rob, is rapidly building an international reputation.
He studied Fine Art at Aberystwyth University and drawing at The Prince's Drawing School in London, and has been a working painter for the last five years, this summer winning a highly prized commission to paint the Thames Flotilla for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Rob specialises in manipulating perspective to give the impression of a wide angle lens, capturing the view from an 180 degree angle.
He said: “I wanted to capture the spirit of the school encapsulated in the giant Beech trees and the activities on the sports field. With the initial meeting, it took about four days to complete and I am delighted the client appreciates the work.”
Mr Thompson added: “We did not want a twee watercolour, or a simple photographic representation, but something unique. I had seen Rob's work hanging in Stoke station where he has some wonderful murals on the platforms and knew he would be the artist for job.
“I am delighted to say that all the former pupils who have seen the picture, feel just as I do and agree, that Rob has captured the spirit of the school and the last 65 years on this site.”