|It is the Art Department's aim to inspire each pupil studying art to consider their place in the world and to communicate their personal response to it.
Studying Art at Eltham College helps pupils to develop a sense of their own identity as pupils are given the chance to learn how to work with a range of materials and techniques so that they develop confidence, competence, imagination and creativity.
The Art Department is an exciting place to study; previous exam pupils have made films, built large-scale installations, used photography, drawn with wire, printed with a variety of objects through the etching press, made sound pieces and projected images over sculptures amongst many other interesting projects. The subject matter is varied as the pupils themselves - from composing and realising beauty in everyday objects, mapping the stars, aviation, architecture, political beliefs, politics, ecology, movement, archaeology, reflection, family history, memories, human interaction, pattern, experimental travel... The ideas are inspired by artists relevant to their lives and eclectic interests. Art can bring a welcome balance to other academic subjects.
Studying Art develops transferable skills such as problem-solving, creative thinking, experimentation, critical analysis, research skills, resilience, making and building skills, team work and debating.
Learning in the Art department
What happens in an Art room can be roughly grouped into making Art, learning about Art, and learning from Art. One of the department's major tasks is to provide learning experiences, which stimulate and encourage investigation to develop personal ideas, feelings and responses to a subject, issue or problem.
There are regular extra sessions set up for the exam groups so that they can keep on top of their studio work. The classrooms are opened for pupils over the Easter holidays to complete coursework and the Sixth Formers can use their free lessons to complete work in the department. There are also courses offered in the gallery, both evening and holiday courses, that support those studying Art at exam level.
The Art curriculum
The A level course builds on the aims of the lower school and GCSE programmes. The opportunities are vast.
There are two residential trips - one to Dorset for a Land Art weekend and a second to a foreign city to explore, draw, take photos and visit galleries. In recent years we have visited New York, St Petersburg and Moscow, Copenhagen, Florence and Paris.
There is a weekly programme of activities organised for Monday nights to enrich the course.
There are artists talks, artist-led workshops, life drawing sessions, crit sessions and the opportunity to use the gallery as a new place in which to learn.
The Sixth Form artists work with the Learning and Participation Curator in the gallery over a number of Monday sessions to develop their A level and AS exhibition in the space. These 'Youth Curators' are responsible for everything from selecting the work, to the curation, promotion of the event and planning the opening night. This is such a fabulous way to conclude their time at the school.
A level artist, Ruari Paterson-Achenbach, created the following video as a part of his coursework, combining music and imagery to express himself:
The department has had particularly impressive results at A level. Over the last three years the number of pupils achieving an A* has been around 50% or more, with many of the pupils going on to study an Art, Architecture or Design course at university.
Exhibitions and Workshops
Annual exhibitions are held in Central Hall and gifted and talented artist-led workshops are also held each year for students.
There is a lunchtime photography club once a week in the department plus the chance to attend some excellent courses in the gallery.
The department is very well-resourced with some exciting equipment, both digital and traditional:
three general Art studios
a sculpture and installation room
excellent printmaking facilities
3D printer and ceramic transfer printer
Access to the onsite Gerald Moore Gallery
Gerald Moore Gallery
Gerald Moore Gallery opened in April 2012 and hosts a variety of exhibitions across Art forms. It presents pupils with the chance to work with artists, to lead projects, to exhibit their own work, to attend courses and artist talks and to learn in new ways in the gallery spaces. It is also open to the public at weekends. More details can be found on the gallery’s website.
The Art Staff
There are three specialist teachers:
There is also an Art technician and an Artist-in-Residence. All the teachers are practising artists with their own interests and preferences which means that the learning opportunities are broad.