Summer Arts Festival 2017
Friday 30th June 2017
‘This year has produced breath-taking work and committed artists and photographers of whom we are deeply proud. Their passion, hard work and individuality is evident, and we celebrate their commitment and talent with you at our Arts Evening’, Miss Eng, Head of Art.
Every year, our Summer Arts Evening showcases the Art, Poetry, Music and Drama created by our girls this academic year for our parents, staff and the local community. On Wednesday 28th June, musical performances, film screenings, poetry recitals and drama pieces were performed while guests were free to admire our girls’ artwork displayed around the school. People gathered in the Rose Garden for refreshments and curry from Southbank-based The Indians Next Door, wandered through corridors adorned with multimedia artwork and stopped to be entertained by intermittent LAMDA, music or poetry performances.
Guest speaker, ceramics potter, Isatu Hyde’s beautiful work was on display in the Rose Garden where she chatted with attendees and to Art students before giving an inspiring speech at the prize giving. ‘Multi-disciplinary learning including drawing and painting, print and sculpture, dressmaking and fine art textiles, graphic design and digital manipulation, photography and film in encouraged from a young age’, said Head of Art, Miss Eng, so it is vital that girls have the opportunity to meet role models in the design and crafts industry.
As is tradition, a prize-giving took place in the Chapel towards the end of the evening, where Miss Eng reflected on the Art Department’s achievements this academic year, and our guest speaker provided information on becoming a designer and craftswoman. In case you were immersed in the art exhibition and missed it, here is Miss Eng’s wonderful speech:
“It’s been a really big year and the girls have made some incredible work. I am really proud of them, as I’m sure you are too.
This year, we’ve been to the new Tate and the White Cube gallery to see Anselm Kiefer, and we’ve learnt a lot more about new artists, and how to engage with the work of artists. Using all the influences around us is what has kept the work so contemporary, and, as lots of visitors have said to me tonight, so alternative.
A lot of conversations and friendships have sparked from looking at each other’s work, and I think it’s really interesting how one visual stimulus can mean something so different to two different people, because everyone is unique. The work of Louise Bourgeois for example, which we saw at the Tate, simultaneously inspired an etched work on motherhood, and a sculpture about anxiety and calm. That’s what makes our subject so exciting – that it is about individual interpretation.
We are also very lucky in our department to have a studio environment. What that means to me is having a community, and in a year where we have needed a sense of community more than ever, I’m really proud of the girls and staff for pulling together and helping one another on so many occasions, often across year groups. This hasn’t only been older girls helping younger girls, but often also younger students inspiring their older peers.
This community spirit was also shown in the set design of our school production of Little Shop of Horrors, where students from across the school created leaves and vines, and created the set and costume design for the whole production.
You might have also seen that, very excitingly, five of our real kneelers from our ‘A Stitch in Time’ project have now arrived and are displayed in the Chapter Room. These have been stitched over the course of two years, and throughout these two years girls of different ages have sewn together in lunch breaks and helped and taught one another.
Aside from all the extra-curricular events that the girls participate in, the academic side has undeniably been a lot of work and it has taken patience. There has been a high level of commitment, and, on occasions sacrifice, which those who want the rewards understand and know are worth it.
Girls, you have worked so hard this year and we’re so proud of you for your individuality and courage. You all deserve a summer break now and I hope that you take a really good rest. Keep your eyes open to all the influences around you, questioning and not just accepting, experiencing and being proactive in finding out what you are interested in.
I hope that what I have just said helps to sum up how we have awarded our prizes this year, with a focus on achievement, but also progress, attitude to learning and community spirit.”
We are also proud to announce that we raised £127.44 for the charity ‘Centrepoint’, helping homeless young people, from selling postcards of our work at the evening.
Congratulations to our prize winners this year:
Junior Achievement in Art: Roma Patel
Junior Progress in Art: Melanie West
Lower School Community Contribution in the Art Department: Isabella Shah
KS3 Achievement in Art: Poppy Hill
KS3 Achievement in Art: Anna O’Brien
KS3 Progress in Art: Logan Crouch
GCSE Achievement in Art: Isabella Ju
GCSE Progress in Art: Megan Allen
A Level Photography Achievement and Progress: Anna Cunningham
A Level Art Achievement and Progress: Sophie Routledge
Upper School Community Contribution in the Art Department: Mackenzie Parry Bull
Upper School Community Contribution in the Art Department: Haranya Yogananthan