D’ArT 2011 exhibition

D’ArT 2011 exhibition. ‘Unique, inspired and accomplished execution’, the work on display was applauded for its extraordinarily high standards for a school design show. The creative and diverse exhibits included a six foot high oil painting, a screen printing press for wallpaper, an ipod docking station, and a gossip mirror of knives among the 200+ exhibits.

Parents and governors enjoyed canapés and champagne at an evening private view as the Longton Hall was transformed into a professional gallery space for this exhibition of design technology and art work. A level and GCSE exam work was displayed alongside projects from each year group. Year 3 were very proud to see their dip pen and ink project, which was led by a sixth form art student, also on display.  A special viewing was also held for Junior School pupils.

Exhibiting is its own reward but there were some outstanding accolades as well.  One student’s artwork has been selected by the exam board as an exemplar for the A level standard and it will be going on a national tour, another student has received an Arkwright scholarship for her design technology work, yet another designed and made a guitar for an extended project qualification (EPQ) so she could indulge her design passion while pursuing the A levels she needed to study psychology at Oxford University.

In both art and design technology, students are encouraged to develop their own creative interests, influences as diverse as the Renaissance and Warhol, religious iconography and Art Deco, post-modernism and medieval were obvious at this exhibition.  Contemporary themes sat alongside more timeless issues; private space and celebrity gossip, the concept of memory, mankind’s relationship with nature and women in society.

Technical skills are as important as creativity in both disciplines.  In the workshop, girls mastered the arc welder and laser cutter, the metal grinder and cement mixer to make their pieces using metals, woods and acrylics.  In the art studio, girls worked with chiaroscuro techniques, oils and acrylics, mastered lino printing, silk screening, sculpture and photography to create artworks that are both unexpected and challenging.

Art and design technology at Sydenham High

All girls study design technology and art in their first three years so that whatever they go on to do they have developed the ability to form their own opinions and appreciate art and design in the world around them. Previous students who have taken these subjects at GCSE and A level have graduated with engineering, design and art degrees from among others Imperial College, St Martin’s and Camberwell College of Art.