Art show draws crowd...

Dated: 25 May 2017

 Alice Lockhart

Our Art department held its annual private view of A level student work last week, and the quality on show was breathtaking...

Hundreds of parents, peers, staff and friends attended the event, enjoyed a glass of fizz, and got a great look at the incredible array of art our students produce year-on-year.

Out-going Head of Art, Joel Horner (sadly, he's moving on at the end of the term) had this to say...

“This years show is an outstanding, diverse range of work. From Icelandic landscapes to lizard scales and octopus tentacles! - We are incredibly proud of our exhibition.

When our students first arrive at Woodhouse, they are often used to a more prescriptive way of thinking, they have only just completed GCSE - in which they may have only used one technical skill. But once they are through our doors we push them to develop and get the best out of themselves. Throughout the course our students are exposed to a huge range of resources and ideas - drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, printing… and everything in between. By the time they've graduated from here they've gained a real maturity in using unique sets of materials. Of course the trips out are instrumental and London is great for galleries, but also the additional workshops we have in life drawing and textiles, and visiting artists, all expand their artistic vocabulary.

What makes Woodhouse art such a great department is the sheer passion and artistic interests of the staff, and the amount of time we spend with students on individual projects - we really get to know our students. And overall, a drive to achieve a high standard of work exists in the department and the students ‘buy-in’ to that, they know and trust (from our track record) that we can help them to develop into serious artists.”

Amy Anderson 

Experienced artist, Woodhouse art teacher for over a decade, and now in-coming Head of Art for next year - Emma Farquharson - agreed...

"We are very excited about our show this year, and we had really brilliant feedback from everyone at the private view last week, which was really nice to hear after all of the students hard work all year"

Next year, the A level Art course, along with all courses, will become fully linear - a two year course with an exam at the end of the second year. We asked Emma if that would change the course significantly...

"We are looking forward to not having an exam in the first year so that we can be much more experimental throughout the course - there will be less pressure on students to have such a rigid structure and more room to explore concepts and ways of realising them.

Robert Killingback-Isherwood

We have some interesting plans for next year in WoodhousePlus (our new extracurricular programme) where we will be running a really good course on preparing students for art college, and hopefully have an ex-student running a workshop on 'How to sell yourself as an artist in a digital world'.  

There will also be a lot more collaborative group work and more trips - initially, in and around London, we’ll be making much more use of the fantastic galleries we have on our doorstep - but we are also investigating a possible trip to the Venice Biennale which would be an amazingly enriching art experience.

In short, we are very excited about the future for Woodhouse Art and indeed the future Woodhouse artists!"

Keva Lvov 

 We caught up with art student Keva Lvov, who told us what it’s been like as a Woodhouse art student over the past year…

“Well, from my exhibition I can definitely see the progress I’ve made since last year - especially as my exam piece had a very similar surrealist theme. In my work I can see the start and end points of my year which I got through with the aid of the great resources and staff of the Woodhouse Art department. Having the incredible bank of books (our enormous art library) and the continuous help, clarification and critique from the two art teachers and the technician really helped bolster my confidence, not just in my course work but also when applying to art schools.

My old school did not have the same scale of literary resources as we have here, which I think was key to my ability to carry out independent research and develop the complexity of my writing to get my essay and annotations on par with what I will need for university level. Woodhouse really challenged me to progress - going to figure drawing classes, continuously asking me to do more involved art work - to just do more art work full stop! I definitely wouldn’t have had this experience elsewhere.

It was great to see the work of my classmates at our exhibition. You become so focused on yourself during the year that you don’t always take the time to experience other peoples work, but seeing it exhibited so professionally, in such a positive environment, was very nice. You really get a taste of the different styles and diversity of the students at Woodhouse. And, in showing my own work, it was really gratifying getting compliments from so many different types of people. Also, a student in my class brought in her Mum to see our work and now I have a commission lined up as soon as I am done with exams (my first official commission that I haven’t got though just my own family - or a from work I’ve already produced) so that was very flattering and has massively boosted my confidence.

Next year I’m going to study animation, most likely at Hertfordshire, but maybe at Bournemouth, probably concentrating on CGI work and 3D modelling - hopefully going on to do advertising and short film. I’ll get to do lots of experimenting and am really looking forward to it. I am also hoping to come back to Woodhouse and run some sessions about selling your artist self online - Deviant art, Twitter, Instagram etc - it’s so difficult to navigate if you don’t know how and I feel like a lot of students don’t tend to advertise their work online which means they are missing out on a potential external audience that can help start-up their careers as an artist now, rather than after foundation.”

Lara Robertsdottir Andrews

Typically, over 50% of Woodhouse art students go on to an art related course - be it art foundation, architecture, design, fashion, animation or one of the many other routes for artists.

Additionally, those students who progress in different subjects find that the complex evaluative and critical thinking involved in writing about art for A level is taken very seriously by universities reviewing applications and Art is considered a great accompanying subject for a well rounded student.

It is clear from our interviews that the Woodhouse art department continues to go from strength-to-strength and is really forward thinking in it's teaching methods and view of art in the modern world. If you are serious about studying A level art - this is the place to do it. But be prepared to work!

Congratulations to everyone involved in the exhibition, we wish Keva and the rest of our Art students the best of luck with their other exams.

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