Our aim, in the Art Department, is to allow every pupil to enjoy the process of discovering, and fulfilling, his or her creative potential.
Art is taught in a bright, airy room at the heart of the school. The department is very well equipped, allowing us to produce everything from ceramics and sculpture to printmaking, painting and drawing and graphic design. Teaching is project-based and always allows for the unexpected as pupils follow their own individual paths through the work. We enjoy close links with the Design & Technology department and with the Art department at Framlingham College. We have an annual art competition and 13+ Scholarships are available to pupils showing particular promise and potential. Art work is displayed throughout the school and we participate keenly in annual competitions and exhibitions, such as Young Art East Anglia.
Projects at this stage are designed to introduce materials and processes and aim to build upon art experience gained during Pre-Prep.
Themes explored have included portraiture, pirates, the underwater world, shoes and hats. Projects will begin to develop in stages so, for example, ‘fish’ could extend from initial drawings, through pastel studies and prints, to ceramic fish tiles for which we can design and make the packaging. Whenever we are able, we like to work outside, using our built and natural surroundings as source material. We might, for example, gather different leaves as the basis for a project, or take inspiration from the architecture of the Hall and the Church. Art regularly joins forces with Design & Technology, allowing us to introduce joint projects, such as clock-making, that bring together skills and practices from both subject areas.
Recently, we have begun an ambitious project in which we aim to depict the every house on the main road through Brandeston.
At the senior stage projects we begin to encourage greater independence as pupils develop their individual skills, tastes and styles.
Work remains project-based but will often be linked to the work of a particular artist or ‘school’ of art. Recently, we have studied the landscape paintings of David Hockney, the Cubist paintings of Picasso and the ‘box’ sculptures of Joseph Cornell. We have also based projects on car design and, in year 8, there is an annual still-life project which, because it allows a wide range of approaches, often provides pupils with one of their most sustained and accomplished pieces of work.
We must, at this stage, anticipate the future challenges of GCSE-level study so we seek to build pupils’ confidence in their own ability, a growing awareness of aesthetics and, it is hoped, a lasting interest in the subject and all it can offer.