Art of talking earns Perse student place in national finals

Noah Morrison (Lower Sixth) will be painting pictures with words after qualifying for the national finals of an art-based public speaking competition.

The ARTiculation competition invites students aged 16 to 19 to give a 10-minute presentation to an audience on a work of art, architecture, or artefact of their choice, with judges assessing each talk based on content, structure, delivery and original thoughts.

After being selected to represent The Perse, Noah won the regional finals at Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury, with his speech on digital artist Jack Burke’s piece Day 3: Tiger Prawn, which explores human and crustacean forms as mermaid or siren-type creatures in vivid and often graphic representations.

Adjudicators Dr Steven Parissien, Interim Director of Gainsborough’s House, and Dr Lara Pucci, Assistant Professor of Art History at Nottingham University, praised Noah for his engaging and thoughtful delivery which left the audience room to question and consider while also challenging their preconceptions of the value of digital art.

Noah will now take part in the national finals, alongside nine other regional winners, at the British Library on Wednesday.

He said: “I was little bit shocked to get through and the national finals will be a little bit nerve-racking because of the amount of people there will be in the audience.

“However, I think it’s going to be interesting to hear other people talk about their chosen artworks and it will be a great exercise in terms of public speaking.

“I think it will be a really good experience and if that’s where it ends, it will still have been a really fun process.”

Noah explained that he had chosen to talk about Burke’s piece as the artist had been a big inspiration for his own A level art coursework.

He said: “I’ve been a fan of Burke for several years, so I was already acquainted with his mermaid artworks.

“My coursework addresses themes of figuration and assimilation, so I took his ideas of mermaid designs breaking away from the stereotypical feminine form, made a few concept sketches and have done my own take on it.”

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