College success in gorilla contest

Carnaby the award-winning gorilla, who was painted by pupils at Exmouth Community College.

Carnaby the award-winning gorilla, who was painted by pupils at Exmouth Community College. - Credit: Archant

Pupils at Exmouth Community College are going bananas after a gorilla they painted was named as the best in the South West.

The college was among the schools across the region which were challenged by Paignton Zoo to design model gorillas as part of its Great Gorillas Project.

The Exmouth pupils painted their gorilla, which they named Carnaby, in the colours of a red double-decker bus, after a competition to come up with a design was won by year seven pupil Jack Woodthorpe.

The painting was done by a number of volunteers from all years at the college in their free time, at lunchtimes and after school, with the very detailed nature of the design meaning that only a small number of pupils could work on the gorilla at any one time.

Having spent the summer at the Phoenix Arts Centre in Exeter, Carnaby went with the other gorillas to Babbacombe Model Village, where he won the people’s vote for best design.

Judith Langlois, from the college’s art department, said: “Students were shown the Paignton Zoo presentation about the plight of gorillas in the wild, then asked to design a gorilla.

“With about 1,400 students in our years seven, eight and nine classes, that meant a lot of gorillas!

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“The art staff voted for their favourite. Carnaby was an easy choice, as it was such a strong and unusual design.”

“We are extremely pleased to have won the vote at Babbacombe Model Village. Carnaby is currently residing at the entrance to the art department – we have not yet decided on a permanent location.”

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