Art and Design
Gresham’s Art Department covers the whole spectrum of Art & Design. At GCSE and A-level we now offer Fine Art, Photography, Graphic Design and Three-Dimensional Design as well as the IB in the Visual Arts. The freedom within each of these routes allows students to produce work which blurs the boundaries between disciplines. The breadth of choice allows each student to explore areas of Art and Design which they have a particular interest in and also allows those moving on to a degree in this area to focus on the aspects of the design curriculum which will best prepare them for their chosen specialism.
In Year 9 pupils take part in an intensive eight-week programme in both Fine Art and Design Practice. During this period students have three lessons per week in each of these areas. The course is designed to introduce students to the broadest range of experiences possible in recording, making and critical analysis of contemporary practice in both Fine Art and Design. By the end of each rotation students will have a solid grounding of the fundamental building blocks inherent in the creative process. They will gain skills as diverse as painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, model-making, digital photographic manipulation and digital modelling.
In Year 10/11 pupils can choose to study a GCSE in Fine Art, 3D Design or Graphic Communication.
In the first year, pupils will be guided through the creative process from its origins through to a fully realised outcome. During each project, students will develop skills inherent in the creative process for each of the three pathways.
Although there are key skills specific to each pathway we are committed to a dynamic approach to the creative process which allows students to work across disciplines. No technique should be seen as off limits. This encourages an atmosphere of risk-taking and natural curiosity where multiple creative approaches can be combined and adapted to suit a particular pupil’s needs.
In the second year, pupils undertake two self-motivated projects which reflect on the knowledge gained in year one. Their work is generated by exploring the potential within materials and also by fostering a perceptive understanding of contemporary practice.
In the 6th form we offer 4 pathways within the Art and Design subject area. These are Fine Art, Graphic communication, Photography and Three Dimensional Design. We also offer the IB Visual Art option. Although all of these pathways focus on different areas within the realm of creativity the department teaches all 5 courses with the same ethos at the heart of the creative process.
Students are taught the key technical skills to articulate ideas in the most sophisticated way possible while also encouraging a conceptual foundation to the process of making. The department continues to encourage ambition and risk taking and also gives students the opportunity to fully exploit the access to facilities within the department. We also generate opportunities for students to blur the lines between disciplines and reflect the fluid nature of contemporary Art and Design. This not only broadens the students skill set but also provides opportunities for entirely new ideas to emerge which keeps us all on our toes.
We pride ourselves on preparing students extremely well for the move onto degree level and in the last few years students have left us to continue their education at some of our countries best Art Schools. These include Glasgow School of Art, Central St Martins, The Slade and The Ruskin Drawing School.
As well as the examples of work found on the Art department page you can also see more of our students creativity on the department Instagram feed. #artgreshams
Nothing to see here projects
As a visual form of communication we are committed to bringing our pupils work to the widest audience possible and our exhibition program also includes the ‘nothing to see here’ pop-up space. This is an ongoing serious of temporary events with a mission to dispel the myth that Art produced at school level is less sophisticated or conceptually mature than that made by any other generation.
Pupils learn at an early stage in their development that presentation is vital in communicating a visual message and if they wish to be successful in the future they need to learn that the way they present their work should reflect the ambition in the work itself.
Nothing to see here at the Saatchi Gallery
Jake Colman (T 2008 – 2013) and Claudia Erixon (E 2001 – 2013) were recently given space to showcase their work within the Saatchi gallery on the Kings Road, London. The aim of the show was to promote and celebrate excellence at A-level. This has not only been a fantastic opportunity for the two pupils involved but it has also supported the view that Gresham’s Art department continues to produce highly innovative and brave young artists willing to push the subject far beyond the levels expected from this age group.
The department blog, www.nothingprojects.blogspot.co.uk, is not only used as a platform to showcase our own pupils work but also a key online resource in keeping our pupils informed about new and exciting work which might inspire their own practice.
- Vinomould casting
- Alginate casting
- Darkroom processes