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GCSE Art Show -”Beginning or End”

7th July 2017

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Review by Mr J Culleton - School Governor

I wish I'd had art teachers like those at Park View when I was at school.

I walked through the Year 11 end of year Art Show a couple of weeks ago and found myself yet again in awe at the extraordinary talent in our community.

I know I probably say it every year, but this is one of my favourite events in the school calendar. This year I found myself looking at the art on display and reflecting on the twelve months that had passed since the last such show. In a world of unpredictable, surprising and occasionally unnerving times, it can sometimes take determination, self-belief and courage to hold firm to one’s own principles.

And that's what I saw demonstrated again and again by our young artists. I saw the work of one student who reached deep into their family’s past and explored what they saw; the colours, shapes and vibrancy of their own culture; and produce work that showed how perfectly this fits into Tottenham today.

I saw other students who looked in the other direction, into the future to articulate how things might be or could be and produce a piece of work that could have been at home in the Tate Modern. Another student’s art involved elements of performance and invited comments from viewers in a daring way that truly belied their age.

The most uplifting thing for me though, is when I speak to the teachers. Naturally, they talk about the curriculum and how they've worked with students to achieve the best grades they can. But their eyes light up most when they begin to talk about the journey that the students have taken.

Rather than just look at a final piece, they want you to read through a student’s entire book, understand what lies behind their work, the hours and hours of thought, experimentation, frustration, the influences and intentions behind the work.

I know I shouldn't say it, but I did have a favourite piece of work, one that brought to mind the work of the New York artist, Mark Rothko. The day after the Park View Art Show, I happened to visit Tate Modern and as always, I made my way eventually to a particular Rothko piece that I've loved for many years. As I stood looking at it, I suddenly realised that I actually preferred the Park View student's work.

I dare say my old Art teachers would also have preferred to have students like those at Park View too.



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