Saturday 16 August 2008

The coursework towards good grades...

It's something that I haven't done enough as a School Governor of but at the end of the last School term I managed to get to some of the art shows and displays at Hampstead School to see the pupils' work.

Now I should be very clear at the start - I'm not creatively artistic, I enjoy art, galleries, museums, I can pick out what I like, but I can't do the application of paint to canvass or its' equivalents. Which considering that my Father is a high quality artist and my sister has a really strong creative and artistic streak is all a bit unfair. :-)

But, the work of the pupils was stunning. The bit that struck me was just how provocative and evocative it was.

Hampstead School is just amazing and has a great creative tradition - that combined with the stunning diversity of the pupils and you have a riot of potential. I was totally stunned by just how simple and how effective and essentially chilling this piece were (two pics left) - all it was were a series of envelopes with the addressses cut out. Censorship, dehumanised, de-personalised, annonymous - it was brilliant and awful...

But the good work didn't stop there and there was a real range of displays and work - I always feel slightly awkward flicking through the work book but it is essential to see how the piece of expression came about, where it comes from.

There was another pupil who had some great stuff on Finchley Road and it used the David Hockney technique of taking lots of photo's and then overlaying them to give a greater whole through a formation of collage... Quite simple, inherently difficult to do well and in this instance very successful. The best bit was watching his Mum cooing with pride!

But here are two more pieces (pictured left) that I managed to capture - the cascade of suspended plates and cutlery in different colours was very eye-catching and feel essentially fun and contrasted with the construction of landscape through blocks of minimal features.

It just seemed right that at the time of results I reflected the exhibition I had seen and the coursework that often goes past almost unoticed in the declaration of exam results... Keep up the great work Hampstead School.

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