The Liddy Ball Dragon – A big art project by students at The Husbandry School.
If you look out over the hills above Bickington this harvest time you might just spot a dragon roaming the fields, breathing wheat and oats rather than fire.
Following last year’s arrival of a 1976 John Deer combine harvester at Liddy Ball Farm, the team at The Husbandry School were amazed to see a dragon lurking within the body and grain chute of this impressive old machine. Inspired by this revelation they challenged two of their students to realise this vision as part of their GCSE Art project ‘Concealment’, as described here in their own words…
“The brief was to conceal a part of the school’s combine harvester in the form of a dragon. We researched images of dragons to get ideas, using online tools like Pinterest to collect our images. Our inspiration included dragons from mythology, animation and fantasy stories.
We chose to transform the unloader chute into the head and neck of the dragon, making it green to blend in with the rest of the combine harvester. The next stage was to detach and clean the chute, then sand it down before applying a coat of primer.
We sketched our design onto baking paper using graphite and then transferred it on to the head of the shoot. We painted it using a mixture of stencilling, sponge painting and fine brush work to give the effect of scales and detail on the face.
The finishing touches were metallic highlights and a lacquer to seal the paint, as well as a large pair of false eyelashes to give it some character! The dragon was reattached to the main body of the combine harvester and given the name Zog Boris Brian by the students and staff, but affectionately known as Boris.
It was fun to work on such a big scale and a rare opportunity to create art on a working piece of machinery that should remain in place and be enjoyed for some time. We really enjoyed working together, combining both of our ideas into the project”.
Boris made his first harvest this week, bringing in our crop of YQ wheat which will be milled locally into flour later in the year. He’ll be working hard over the coming month to harvest our mixed sowing of oats and drying peas as well as other forage crops for our animals over the winter.”