Art show makes triumphant return

Dated: 14 June 2022

This month our art department were at last able to put on the first public show of our A level art and design student's work since 2019. Dozens of parents, friends, students and staff came together on Thursday evening for a private view of the exhibition, which was the culmination of two years work through difficult circumstances for the students... but that certainly did not affect the quality.
Head of Art, Sharon White, joined Woodhouse in the middle of the pandemic, but hit the ground running and has really worked well with the students to help them mature as artists. She told us “Our private view was such a very busy and exciting event - it was really great to see so many parents coming in to view the work and I think they were really impressed and amazed by the whole display.
The main theme that threads through the exhibition is that it is so personal and individual - there are lots of really brave decisions made by our students and a willingness to really experiment with different media.
We’ve had students making objects out of felt, using crocheting and knitting as part of their final pieces, which is really lovely to see. There is a real joy in the method and effort that you can see has gone into things - a real value in that meticulous attention to detail and the willingness to (for instance) make Columbian inspired lace, which takes hours and hours. I get a lot of joy out of seeing things like that and I think a lot of students and parents did as well. There were lots of great comments about the variety of textures and 3D elements in the show.
In some ways, since students have come back (from Covid restrictions), we’ve been really trying to get them to feel the joy of being back in school and see things really positively. That’s something we thought was very important for their mental health when we all came back last September. And I think a lot of them have tried to take that ‘joy’ on board and have made quite playful fun things - which may be partly as a response to lockdown.
Another thing which has helped students this year is that they didn’t have to sit a timed exam (normally 40% of their grade) - so being able to focus for that much longer on their course work has meant that things have come to higher level of fruition. They have been able to go further than they might normally with an idea and evolve their project into something really spectacular. The work looks really considered and complete.
I feel like it is the best set of work that I have been involved in displaying and responsible for, but then I am new to Woodhouse College which has a decades-long legacy of amazing A level art work and where the students are fabulous and all working really hard. I am very proud of them all.”
Principal Sugra Alibhai said "I am so incredibly impressed by our students and the amazing work they have produced. It was a real joy to see such excellent outcomes across a range of styles and mediums. And of course well done to the art staff - Sharon White, Emma Farquharson and Yvette Kissi - for curating such a fantastic exhibition."

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