The Lower Sixth A Level artists have had a sensational couple of weeks with the launch of their pop-up Live Studio! The small studio was positioned centrally in the Bourne Foyer (ensuring that a two meters plus distance from other students could be kept at all times) and consisted of a quad of large boards with each student taking ownership of one. In each of their lessons the boys worked in the Foyer, leaving their work displayed from week to week. They have developed numerous pieces in a range of media, scales and styles including expressive greyscale paintings, refined conte drawings and ambitious self-portraits, scaled at around 10 times larger than life size!

Klennen (L6H1) commented, “In my large scale self-portrait, I have aimed to depict my own presence: the colour palette, pose, viewpoint and mark making I have used are designed to reflect hidden aspects of my personality which effect my presence. Painting in public was new to me and I have enjoyed the opportunity; it has taken me out of my comfort zone in a positive way.”

Felix (L6M2) said, “It’s cool! It is nice to talk to other people about my artwork. Other teachers and pupils who have seen it are keen to discuss my ideas which I really enjoy. This has been a great opportunity to get people involved in art and I look forward to doing it again later in the year. It has been wonderful to overhear the Year 7s in the background (over two meters away) getting excited about art. When they say that they wish they could do that, about our pieces, I take pride in encouraging them and opening their eyes to their potential.”

Having begun their A Level with a mastery course in drawing, painting and contextual studies, these practical lessons focussed on observational drawing and the development of personal ideas which, inform the start of the students’ personal investigations. They have certainly impressed everyone with their expertise in tackling fast paced challenges and high level of skill however, perhaps the most important outcome is that they have demonstrated resilience in sharing the ups and downs of their process and confidence in tackling mistakes and allowing these to inform creative leaps.

Bailey (L6S1) added, “This experience has boosted my self-esteem and I think it’s really good practice for the future when as a practising artist/designer I would need to present my work to a wider audience.”