The Perse School

Stunning works prove a big draw at Perse Art Show

18 Jun 2018

The brand new Pelican Gallery provided the setting for some of the many vibrant pieces created by Perse students at the School’s annual Art Show.

As well as showcasing coursework and individual exam work by Lower Sixth art students, the new facility in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre also featured a number of entries for the coveted Heller Prize for Creative Arts. The award is sponsored by Sir Michael and Lady Heller. Sir Michael is an Old Persean (1954), businessman and philanthropist, who was knighted in 2013 for charitable services.

Despite stiff opposition from a variety of fantastic creations, Ayshini Senadeera (Lower Sixth) took the Heller Prize with her stunning portrait.

More impressive coursework from A level and GCSE students was on display in the art block.

The Peter Hall PAC also hosted an exhibition of both artistic and written pieces by Year 8 pupils following on from an innovative new cross-curricular project linking art, English and music. They looked at the artworks of Upper Sixth students and were set the task of responding imaginatively to the pieces through the medium of the different subjects.

In art, they interviewed the A level students to gain an insight into what motivated their work and went on to paint with acrylic, draw with pencil, chalk and charcoal or create collages to produce their own pieces inspired by the originals.

Year 8 came up with a variety of richly imaginative personal responses to the artworks through both poetry and prose in English, while in music, pupils composed related pieces as part of an optional extension project.

Head of Art Anne Cunningham was delighted with how the show had been received.

She said: “We had some fantastic responses from parents saying how amazing the show was, which is really great. They were particularly impressed with the variety of work.

“I think everyone was impressed with the way it had been displayed, and especially with how professional the exhibition looked in the new Pelican Gallery. It’s a great space to elevate the artwork to a different level.

“It’s always quite a proud moment when you have the show because it’s the culmination of a year’s work by the students, in some cases two, and they really enjoy seeing their work being exhibited in such a professional way.

“That’s partly why we did the Year 8 project, so those pupils could see what it’s like to do art at A level and see what the experience is to have your work on public display.”

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