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Our artists at Bethany have an abundance of creativity…

Our artists at Bethany have an abundance of creativity and for the most able in the subject, it is important to provide opportunities for these pupils to challenge themselves. One of the exciting ways we have promoted such opportunities this year is through competitions. Art competitions can serve as a positive experience for those pupils who wish to enter such contests and who possess sufficient emotional maturity to separate the concept of losing from the idea of rejection as a person; a delicate balance to get right!

Entering competitions is a great way to engage pupils, and demonstrate the quality of the artwork being produced to pupil’s families and the wider community. It also allows us to compare the standards of artwork with other schools across the region, online and in gallery settings. Exhibiting in such competitions, such as the John Downton Awards, also showcases the pupils work to improve their confidence and sense of pride, and raises the profile of the school. For older pupils, it is also fantastic evidence for university applications.

Our most enthusiastic and able pupils use their knowledge and understanding to extend their own thinking and realise their intentions; they communicate original ideas, insights and views. Our sixth form pupils were encouraged to enter the ‘Articulation’ competition this year which is a speaking competition. Each year 12 Art pupil was required to deliver a ten-minute illustrated presentation to an audience about a work of art, artefact or architecture of their choice. Adjudicators then assessed each presentation as a whole, looking at content, structure, delivery, the originality of the speaker’s approach and unique potential. This was a real challenge as public speaking is a real skill that many of us would not feel comfortable with. The value of such an experience however is enormous and the pupils received constructive feedback and enjoyed delivering their personal research to an audience. From this cohort, Laura McGee was chosen to represent the school at the regional heats in Folkestone where she delivered a fantastic, interactive presentation on ‘Babel’ by Cildo Meireles.



 art2Another fantastic competition our pupils have been working towards is the ‘Junk Kouture’ recycled fashion competition, which has seen pupils from Year 7 through to Year 12 creating incredible designs from sustainable sources. Livi Dawson and Darcie Roberts are just one team who are taking part and have created a dress on the theme of meadows.
“The inspiration for the dress is re-wilding meadows. UK meadows are important because lots different wildlife lives there, like bees and mice and bugs. Unfortunately, meadows are under threat as they are being taken down and used as fields for livestock or property development. Hopefully this dress will make people more aware of our vanishing meadows. The dress is made from recycled material and netting. An old t-shirt created the base and fake flowers are sewn on the top and skirt. The shoulders are created using the bottom of plastic bottles which were painted, and wool used in the middle. Using a recycled hat, real found antlers were added with the addition of some more plastic bottle flowers. The shoes are old ballet shoes decorated with old fake ivy”.

Pupils have been encouraged to enter the Young Artists Summer Show at the Royal Academy.

Summer Stewart-Welch has created a sculpture from willow, wool and hemp. She states:

“Nature is full of patterns and colour that grow and twist to form stunning natural artwork that has zero impact on the environment. I was inspired by this, and wanted to create something that was natural and fluid that could be displayed in many different ways, casting patterns and shadows. I wanted to create something that was 100% biodegradable, so no matter what happens to it, it doesn’t have an impact on the environment. -Can art lead the way in being more responsible?”

Willem Curtin has created a portrait piece based on a musician. He explained:

 “This is a recent drawing I made as a part of my GCSE project on Kendrick Lamar. I used graphite pencils for the face and charcoal powder to create the dragging effect. I wanted the artwork to be related to Kendrick Lamar and his past, so the background I drew it on is a map of Chicago, where his parents were originally from before they moved to Compton and raised Kendrick. I chose to do my project on Kendrick because I have been a fan of his music for a while, and I was interested in finding out more about his past, as well as taking on the challenge of drawing him. I really enjoyed drawing Kendrick, and I plan to complete future drawings and research on him as he is so inspirational.”

There are many opportunities throughout the year for pupils to enter competitions, both through the school and through individual entries. We would really like to encourage our young artists to take advantage of the chance to showcase their talents and look forward to sharing more success stories in the near future.