D’ArT to be proud of

“So much talent in one place”; “an amazing and original exhibition”; “fabulous work from all ages”; “wonderful, inspiring and breathtaking”.

These were just some of the comments left by visitors to Sydenham High’s third annual D’ArT exhibition of stunning art and design technology from across the school, during its three-day run last week. The exhibition showcased highlights from students from across the school but in particular this year’s outstanding GCSE and A-Level entries.

The written comments were echoed by the renowned jewellery designer and local resident, Alex Monroe, who opened the show this year at a special private view.  Mr Monroe said: “I am struck not only by the diversity but also the sheer technical skill on display.  I can see that students here will have great careers in the arts.”  In fact, four of this year’s A-Level students have won places on prestigious foundation art courses.

Mr Monroe, whose distinctive designs are worn by the likes of Sienna Miller, Carey Mulligan and Emilia Fox, also had praise for a display of astonishingly mature work from students in the Junior School, mentored by two sixth formers.  The joint venture, entitled: “Sitting on the shoulders of giants”, involved encouraging the younger pupils to take inspiration from the work of famous contemporary artists and translate this into superb pieces which might be expected of much older pupils. These included a woven Curios-i-tree and brightly coloured paintings on paper and umbrellas, driven by movement.

For headteacher Kathryn Pullen, the show demonstrates not only her students’ talent but also the role of their teachers.  “No matter what the age or subject matter, what shines through in this showcase is the truly impressive way in which our girls are able to produce ambitious, interesting art with tremendous skill under the guidance of inspirational teaching.”