12 Jun

On Thursday we said goodbye to a much-loved friend and colleague Kim Ratcliffe. The huge number of family, friends, staff, young people and their families who attended is a true testament to just how much Kim was loved, respected and admired by so many. I’m also aware that there were many more who could not attend and watched via the live stream. I feel immensely privileged to have known Kim and worked alongside her. Kim you will be dearly missed by all.

Earlier in the week we also heard the dreadfully sad news regarding Fabiana. Gavin and the team wrote a very moving dedication to Fabiana which you can read here. It’s heartbreaking to lose any of our children but the hurt is even more when, like Fabiana, they are so young and full of life.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kim and Fabiana’s family and friends at this very difficult time and in the weeks and months ahead.

This week I have had the very difficult task of judging the entries for the ‘Everyday Heroes’ Art Competition, but as promised I have reached a much-considered but final decision.

You may not know that before I ventured into education I worked as an illustrator for a number of years and I have continued to produce artwork since, an urge which has been greater over recent weeks and months. It has become evident throughout the lockdown, that many people are getting more creative and showing that art can and is having a positive impact on many people’s well-being and mental health.

Charitable initiatives are also benefitting from the vision of artists during the pandemic, such as the British Red Cross campaign which involved 11 artists creating posters to help spread the message that “Kindness will keep us together.”

The illustrator Nina Cosford produced artwork that celebrates “Simple” tokens of kindness such as phone calls and letters.

Artists are finding more creative ways to share their artwork virtually and I’d just like to share a couple of examples from some of my favourite artists whose work is very different..
Firstly, Sir Anthony Gormley who produced a small solitary figure resting its head between his arms.

“I wanted to make this self-contained body, looking at itself,”

I absolutely love Banksy’s “Rats causing mayhem in his bathroom”

And finally, David Hockney has been using his iPad to create images from his garden..

I hope these examples have given food for thought as I’d like all students and staff to keep any artwork they create whilst at home and to bring it in to be displayed as part of a special ‘Lockdown Exhibition’ at the New Bridge Learning Centre Art Gallery when we do finally return. There is still plenty of time, so please everyone, ‘GET CREATIVE!’ As you can see from the examples I’ve shared – anything goes!!

So now on to the results of our Art competition. I need to start by saying a huge thank you to all those who got involved and produced their own artwork. I was really heartened to see the time, effort and creativity evident in all the artworks. Please find all the entries and final results in the following video!

video

I feel I cannot go without briefly saying something about the three winning artworks:

I love how Aimee has not only portrayed herself with great effect, with excellent line quality, attention to detail and bold use of colour, but also her ‘world of heroes’, almost as something that continues to turn and change. I also really like your simple composition Aimee, really effective. The image also illustrates that heroes take many different shapes. Many congratulations Aimee!

I absolutely love the detail involved in Ciara’s artwork, I apologise that the photo probably doesn’t do it justice and I can’t wait to see it printed on canvas where we’ll be able to see all the content. Ciara, I love the way you have created a montage of photos and artwork in a sketchbook format, really effective. I need to know the name of your very colourful cat! Many congratulations Ciara.

Finally Thomas’s ICT produced artwork. Thomas this has a lovely message put over in an effective and striking way. The composition is really powerful and reminds me of Andy Warhol’s prints! What I like about your artwork Thomas is that it shows that art can be created in so many different ways and forms and you don’t have to be able to draw or paint to create a really strong creative and effective image with a great message.

What all three entries clearly illustrate is the importance of the people who are around us and supporting us through these difficult and challenging times. Hopefully the exhibition will bear testament to that very fact, ordinary people doing extraordinary things!

Hopefully you will be all inspired to get creative yourselves. So, what are you waiting for? Get going and get creative with your ‘Lockdown Artworks’ and let’s see if we can help our own mental health and well-being whilst also creating a lasting collection and memory of something we are all going through!

Take care and stay safe,

Dawn

Click here for this week’s news from Graham

You can find Gavin’s blog for the school site here

For news on our Key Stage 5 pathway groups at Medtia Square please click here

You can find my previous blog posts here