The 2021 College Arts Evening was a wonderful culmination of art, drama and music presented to parents on a sunny summer evening in the idyllic setting of S. Anselm’s School.
The evening began with a drinks reception on Head’s Lawn, after which parents were given the opportunity to view a superb art exhibition before taking their seats in the Hargreaves Hall to watch a stunning array of music and drama.
The event itself has really been a great motivation for our students; and working towards it has inspired them to push their work to be the best it can be.
The art exhibition was the culmination of two years of artwork by our current Year 11 students. They continued working through two lockdowns, using materials that they were able to access whilst working at home. This is the first time parents have had the opportunity to see work which has been created in school in both Fine Art and Textile design. It made it all worthwhile to hear the fantastic comments in response to the work on display.
The GCSE course in both Fine Art and Textile design encourages the exploration of source materials, links to Artists, experimenting with different mediums, developing and refining ideas and the creation of a personal response. Mrs Bennion and Miss Pink have worked with our pupils as individuals, which has allowed such a variety in project choices and outcomes to develop.
Pupils have been ambitious with their use of materials and techniques, from intaglio print-making, to oil-painting, to freehand machine stitching. As a sign of dedication, they chose to come into school after their half-term holiday to help mount-up and display their work.
Notably, in Fine Art and Textile design, students have made very personal responses with their work. For example, Izidora chose to explore her interest in Egyptian wall friezes, the meaning and messages behind them and related them to modern day artists who work in urban spaces -such as Banksy. Phoebe chose to explore family history creating beautiful textile work in response to three generations of women in her family. Leah also chose a subject close to her heart -the life and times of her Great-Grandmother, she included photography and many different mixed-media techniques in her work. Her family are looking forward to sharing Leah’s artwork with her Great-Grandmother, who is now 94 years old!
Highly accomplished performances from music scholars, exhibitionists and talented College musicians abundantly conveyed their S. Anselm’s journey from beginner pre-prep and junior musicians, right through to grade 6, 7 & 8 confident and exhilarating performers.
We were treated to performances by Chloe, beautifully singing her grade 5 Birds Lament and Olivia’s musical charged Chopin E Minor prelude. Martha almost performed a cello aria until she had the misfortune of an A string snapping – this did not dampen her spirits though as Martha then delivered a spell-binding live monologue. Phoebe performed a sonorous grade 6 oboe Handel aria, followed by a stunning rendition of Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’ from Scarlett, accompanied by Josh on piano. Alec’s classical guitar grade 8 Spanish Flamenco pulse piece led to Josh finishing with a powerfully musical interpretation of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata leaving the audience in awe.
Mr Mortimer, Head of College said:
“Whilst the organisation of such an event takes time, planning and a lot of preparation, it was lovely to have parents in school to enjoy, appreciate and celebrate students’ work. I feel that this year has been the most impressive Arts Evening yet, as pupils have persevered through two lockdowns and the calibre of finished work and performance was outstanding, particularly from the Year 11 students. What a fabulous evening that will be remembered for a long time to come!”
S. Anselm’s College offers scholarships in a range of creative subjects. More information can be found here: https://www.sanselms.co.uk/college/scholarships/