Art & Photography Exhibition
The Final Art and Photography Show in May demonstrated the skill and imagination of the Hurst Art students and the impressive scale and range of materials being used.
Work from GCSE and A-Level students was based around many themes and experiences including: Facial Distortion, Emotion and Expression, Mechanic/Organic, Barriers in the Landscape, Surfaces, Movement, Transition and exam themes: Combination and Alliances, Similarities and Differences and Experiences, Encounters and Meetings.
With music and refreshments on hand to provide the atmosphere, governors, staff, parents and students all celebrated the achievements of our artists together in a fantastic evening was had by all.
Art and Photography trip to Florence
Accompanied by Miss Farrell and Miss West, a party of LVI Art and Photography students set off for Italy just before the end of term. This 4 day trip was fuelled by a passion for the Renaissance era and the architecture in Florence; an amazing city.
The party were lucky to be blessed with exceptional weather; this meant they could walk around the city well into the evening but it was perhaps too hot for walking around the acres of the Boboli Gardens! The accommodation and restaurant were typically Italian which added to the whole atmosphere of the trip.
The students visited the Galleria dell Accademia where they saw work by modern and contemporary artists juxtaposed with sculptures by Michelangelo and Giambologna, they explored work by Caravaggio, Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli and early Gothic painters at the Uffizi and on the last day had a tour around the MNAF photography gallery.
The highlight of the tour was certainly the Bike Tour around Florence, which luckily ended with a well earned ice cream stop! It was a fascinating tour of the various palazzos, cathedrals and official buildings built in the Renaissance style.
A close second was probably the sunset walk up to the replica statue of ‘David’ by Michelangelo which overlooks the city where the group sat and drew the views and fading light. Miss West’s treasure hunt around the Duomo cathedral gave the students an opportunity to explore aspects of the main palazzo they perhaps had not seen before and we all enjoyed haggling with the market stall owners to buy gifts and souvenirs.
We are sure it has provided all of the LVI with a trip to remember and an inspirational starting point to their Unit 3 or extended projects.
Remove artists visit Lucien Freud exhibition
Miss West took 30 Remove students to see the Lucian Freud exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The students, many of whom had seen the BBC2 programme on the artist’s life, were given a talk by the gallery staff about the work in the exhibition before spending time drawing from the work. The results in their sketchbooks were fantastic and many have now been responding to Freud’s thick impasto style back at College. We have been looking at Jenny Saville and comparing how the influence of Freud has played a part in developing Saville’s style. Remove students are working towards a mock exam based on Facial Distortion, Emotion and Expression in the summer term.
Schools Visiting the Department
On Saturday 3rd March, 17 Year 6 and 7 students from various prep and primary schools in the area joined the Hurst art department for a day of exploring the theme ‘Underneath and Overhead’. Students began by drawing from images of tropical leaves and plants taken at Kew Gardens. They then developed these into large abstract painted and printed paper sculptures which were life size. The day was incredibly exciting and thoroughly enjoyed by all. I hope to see some of these enthusiastic artists in the future.
Year 10 Workshop
Later in March,14 Year 10 students from a variety of schools attended another workshop. They worked from branches and leaves collected from the landscape around Hurst to develop their observational skills and warm up for day using inks, charcoal, graphite and pens. They then explored painting and colour mixing with reference to Paul Cezanne learning how to mix colour and apply it to create 3D effects on a 2D surface. They explored the work of Graham Sutherland, Anselm Kiefer, Peter Doig and Patrick Heron throughout the rest of the day producing 2 A1 size pieces of work based on trees. A great day was had by all and it was brilliant to work with such a very talented group.
Art Scholars’ Show
On Tuesday 6th March the department celebrated the hard work of all of its Art Scholars. Scholars from Shell through to the Upper Sixth exhibited highlights from their portfolios throughout the year so far. Scales and media have been pushed even further with wax and book sculptures from Shell students entered into the Woodard Schools Charles Dickens project to vast expressive figurative painting by our sixth formers.
Open Morning Art Project
During the March Open Morning, the AS Art students painted the teaching table belonging to Darren Jameson, Head of Academic Music. With a loose brief of Abstract Expressionism 6 students painted two sections each and in just two hours the task of decorating the huge table was completed. The students worked incredibly fast but with real skill and energy and the table seemed to come alive with movement and vibrant colour. Each mark appears to represent a sound and we hope that it has brought much inspiration to students and staff working in the Music Department.
Shell Art Project
In the Wednesday Shell Arts sessions, the groups all took part in making a huge 3m canvas which explored the Grisaille technique of painting and also the Vorticists’ style. They used photographs of the chapel which they had taken and created an abstract composition which they then painted in acrylics over the last 4 months. They worked into it with pencils and pastels to add detail and refine the final effect. The work was displayed in the new classroom block at the end of the languages corridor with a view of the chapel behind it.
Art Scholars’ Project - Bicentenary of Charles Dickens
Art Scholars from Shell and Remove submitted work to mark the Bicentenary of Charles Dickens. This work was displayed at the Capitol Theatre in Horsham in February during the performance by Ardingly Prep School. Many Woodard schools were invited to produce work on this theme and I was really impressed by the efforts of our scholars. Their talent and commitment to raising the standards of art are commendable.
East London AS Photography Trip
This trip was themed around new encounters and experiences and the first new experience was leaving Hurst at 5.30 in order to take photographs at Billingsgate fish market, where they took some brilliant photos. A short walk to Canary Wharf provided a complete contrast with great opportunities for their photography. Many captured stunning reflections of the impressive buildings. The final leg of the trip was a tour around the Olympic site to record the construction work in progress there, a challenging task on a cold and windy day. However, the bright blue skies gave rise to some strong images. This was a trip full of contrasts which has given them a great start to their AS exam.
British Museum and Grayson Perry Art Trip
The Sixth Form artists went to see the acclaimed Grayson Perry exhibition and research their exam themes ‘Combinations and Alliances’ and ‘Experiences, Encounters and Meetings’ in relation to the general collections of cultural artefacts. They explored combinations of objects, borrowing and adapting from other cultures, making sketches and notes of the Aztec, Roman, Egyptian and African displays. They discussed and annotated much of Grayson Perry’s work, thinking about the relationship between artist, object and history. It was fascinating how Perry’s variety of techniques and craft-based processes produced beautiful work that commented thought-provokingly comments on society and established orders.
Work in Progress Exhibition
The art and photography ‘Work in Progress 2011’ show was a stunning testament to the hard work that all our students have put in towards the end of the Michaelmas term. The show was attended by students, parents, governors and staff of Hurst.
his year we went ahead with new ideas for display, making the exhibition space more spacious and easy to walk around and view the work. Instead of piling it high and showing everything, we decided to ask students to select their best pieces and main outcomes for their projects so far.
The artists had produced interim final pieces which made for a real gallery feel and they had worked on large scales using a variety of media. The Vth form have just completed their mock exam on the theme ‘Barriers’ and this was an opportunity for them to show their work from the timed test in November.
The Photographers had worked on films and 3 light installations which made for a varied experience for visitors. The darkroom was turned into a mini cinema showing the films from the Upper Sixth.
Life Drawing with Peter Harrap
Life Drawing has, once again, been a fundemental aspect of the Sixth form's drawing development this term. The skill also became part of the events calendar for adults too, with a course of 10 sessions running throughout the term. Artists who attended the lessons then exhibited some of their work in the department as part of the Hurst Festival Artists Open Houses 2011. Feedback from both the course and the festival was positive and we hope to encourage more visitors into the department from the wider community.
Open Studio Evenings
Many keen and hard working students find the open studio evenings on Wednesday and Thursday useful for developing their ideas, skills and working alongside each other in a creative atmosphere for longer periods of time. Many tackle their prep in these two hour sessions and that gives them the confidence to then develop it further in their own time or during study periods. We would encourage all to use these sessions at least once a week and draw on the expertise of the staff and technicians.
As part of the Hurst Festival Tiffany Farrel, Head of Art, ran another furniture painting workshop on the St Lawrence school field. This was sold out almost straight away and many returned for a second year. The work of the Bloomsbury artists inspired painters to develop abstraction and colour relationships in their work on pieces of furniture they had brought along. Paints from Farrow and Ball were used to create authentic finishes of the 1930’s period. The results were really impressive and it was amazing to see what people had created in just 6 hours.
Festival Open Houses
In addition to the evening workshops we opened the department on Sunday 25th September as part of the Festival Open Houses. We showcased work from students of all year groups and the life drawing class on a Saturday for members of the public to wander and experience the department as a gallery space.
The pupils were out and about on two trips this term. The first was to Eastbourne with the Vth form and LVI artists. We visited the John Piper exhibition at the Towner Art Gallery and at an artist-led workshop the Vth form learnt a new technique to help them develop their ideas for the mock exam, ‘Barriers’. The LVI explored John Piper’s work in depth and made collages in response when they returned to Hurst. All students enjoyed drawing on the beach and then the views of the Sussex landscape at the back of the Berwick Church in Polegate.
The second trip to Kew Gardens was aimed at developing the recording and observation skills of the Remove in preparation for their sculpture project and the LVI photographers for their ‘Surfaces’ project. Comments from students and parents were that this had been a thoroughly enriching trip. “The interesting lighting and multitude of surfaces gave us a wide variety of photographic opportunities” Katie Hughes, LVI.
Art Scholar Meetings
The Art Scholar meetings throughout the term launched the Chaos project, which this year focused on making sculptures for a presentation with the Dance department. We had 20 art scholars from Years 9-12 making sculptures based on the theme from a variety of materials; tissue paper, wire, plaster, paper and “found objects” were all employed to make a wide variety of large scale, life size pieces. Notable pieces completed for the performance were from Tom Compton, Sarah Forster, Bex Kelly, Cara Seaton and Emma McNally. A bizarre creation made collaboratively by Michael Firth, Jake Myhre and Jack Kyffin and constructed from pieces of a mannequin were a certainly a talking point!
On Wednesday 19th October the Art and Dance Collaboration culminated with the ‘Chaos’ performance. Dancers had choreographed a piece which was then performed in the space where the sculptures were displayed. The Music School was an excellent venue for an audience to wander around and consider the works of art and then disperse as the dancers performed their piece every 20 minutes. The evening was a fluid expression of time, movement and unpredictability. This was a fantastic way to end our first half of term.
20 May 2013