In 2018, Kate was commissioned by West Lothian Council to create artwork for the new West Calder High School. She was asked to create artwork for the main entrance to the school and further sculptures for inside.
Kate ran a series of artworks with the community,which then informed the designs and concepts for the artworks.Design inspiration came through input from the local community and the strong connection West Calder has to the outdoors and its natural surroundings. The concept for the exterior artwork developed through conversations with local residents who shared the importance of exploring the countryside. This created a significant connection with Ancient Greek philosophers who developed outdoor schools to study and learn from nature. At Aristotle’s Lyceum and Epicurus’ Garden, Ancient Greek philosophers taught in outdoor classrooms, debating and theorising while walking along garden colonnades and observing nature.
These Ancient Greek philosophers chose to be outside as they believed the ‘garden’embodied and fused two fundamental philosophical principles of Nature and Humanity. The Corten steel arch at the entrance to WCHS represents these outdoor classrooms and the different stages of education. The arch symbolises a gateway to knowledge, entering through it to begin education and leaving from it upon graduation; ready for each new direction supported by life-long learning.
The arch is made from individually created, stacked steel plates to symbolise theorganic accumulation of knowledge from our interaction with nature. The arch changes with the light at different angles which represents the intangibility ofknowledge, whilst the earthy-brown steel plates continue to weather and transform, reconnecting and embedding themselves in their surroundings.