A year in (and out of) the Art department

The Art department is extremely fortunate to have staff who so conspicuously enjoy the creative process and regard the relationships they build with students as collaborations between artists. 

These collaborations were especially evident in the output of this year’s IB students, many of whom are going on to study Fine Art, Architecture or History of Art. Vast paintings, intricate ceramics and complex printmaking processes underline the individuality of the students. It is timely that this year’s extension of the art rooms into the former Middle School Common Room has added extra space to accommodate the ambition of their output.

There always seems to come a moment in the development of IB artists when they break free of expectations and find their own creative voice – and this cohort seemed to find their voices especially early and confidently. I very much hope that they will return as Old Sennockians to share their work and insights.

Art during lockdown

Colleagues in the department rushed to explore ways to respond creatively to the challenges of remote art teaching. Initially daunted, we soon found that fresh creative avenues could be explored, albeit from necessity, and the process could be a refreshing way to share new ideas and approaches. Staff and students innovated through materials that were immediately to hand. Coffee and even ash were used to create expressive drawings and fruit and vegetables arranged in response to Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s 16th century paintings.

New co-curricular clubs sprang up, operating through live online sessions. Some of these exploited the creative potential of pupils’ camera phones and editing software or improvised clay from soaked paper. Yet as dynamic as it was, the department is excited about a return to the usual printmaking ink-stained fingernails and paint-splattered shoes of our normal lives in the studios. 

Charley Openshaw, Head of Art


IB Art Exhibition Guide 2020


More student work on the Art department website