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Dylan's tree of life

A beautifully designed tree of life has been created by a gifted sixth former in memory of his beloved godson.

Dylan James died last year aged just three after being diagnosed with cancer. The little boy adored his first cousin, who was also his godfather-Laurence, a Year 13 pupil at SDC, who wanted to create something in Dylan’s memory for his A ‘level design and technology project.

Laurence, from Southampton, has designed a tree made out of wire, resin and silicon. It is reminiscent of a bonsai tree albeit a very colourful one, with leaves the colour of Dylan’s favourite characters in his favourite TV show.

This poignant and sensitive piece of work has turned out to be one of the standout pieces in this year’s usual array of stunning A ‘level work created in the DT department.

“I wanted to create something that partly captured Dylan’s personality,” said Laurence.

“He was a very inquisitive child, who was always smiling and happy, even when he was clearly very poorly.”

He continued: “I wanted the tree to be colourful and bright, and it will be used to display all the glass beads Dylan received during his various cancer treatments.”

Dylan James, who died last year aged three.

“At the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, where he received part of his treatment they’d give him a bead for a blood test, and other ones for radiotherapy and chemo and so on, until he had quite a collection.”

Laurence added: “My aunt-Dylan’s mum, kept the beads in little pouches, but I thought it was a shame they weren’t on display, as each little bead signifies part of her son’s history and so that’s how the tree took shape.”

Laurence wants to go on to study product design, something he never thought of until he came to St David’s College.

“I’ve only been here since the sixth form, in other schools I’ve been to the DT departments were hopeless compared to the one here, you’d just be messing around with bits of wood” he said.

“St David’s gives you time and the space to be creative, and Mr O’Leary is a wonderful teacher and I’m also inspired by what my classmates are creating.”


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