The School Looks Around

The idea for Daisi’s The School Looks Around originated from the rediscovery of a publication of the same name written in 1948, which promoted the idea of the local survey as an adventurous and open-ended process, a ‘voyage of discovery into the life, history and organisation of the locality’.

Devon pupils worked alongside visual artists to carry out a contemporary survey of their local areas and community, drawing on the resources of Devon Record Office and other heritage organisations.

Using sound, text, photography, film, paint, sculpture, print, maps, natural materials and their own possessions, the young people produced their own creative work in response to their local area.  An archive has been created from their work and is now permanently stored at the Devon Record Office.

“Helen’s beautifully annotated map of her family home is also full of wonderful, humorous details about her pets: ‘Chickens on patrol!’ and that little glimpse of a Helen who isn’t always running around on the sports field: ‘Where’s Helen? Reading in the conservatory (again!)’.”

Extract from The King’s School Looks Around, Moose Allain (artist)

The School Looks Around was conceived and designed by Lucy Musgrave and Clare Cumberlidge of General Public Agency, now Publica (, and Clare Cumberlidge & Co (  The project was developed during delivery by Daisi, in partnership with Devon County Council Libraries, Devon Record Office, The King’s School, Ottery St Mary and South Dartmoor Community College, Ashburton.

Lead artists were Moose Allain and Joe Stevens.

The School Looks Around was supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and Devon County Council.

Click here to view the tool kit produced during the project.