The alTURNERtive Prize Winner 2016


The alTURNERtive prize, now in its fifteenth year celebrates outstanding contemporary art practice by 12 nominated students at Welling School. The prize evolves every year and marks the current concerns of the artists involved and displays the impressive, varied nature of the work tackled by students in Years 11-13. The breadth of issues and approaches that are confronted easily rivals those found on degree courses. Every year has been remarkably different, highlighting the innovative approach to art education for which Welling School is now renowned.

This year the award was presented to the winner by former Turner Prize nominee Jane Wilson. The prize was judged by a panel made up of the Freelands Foundation’s Head of Education Henry Ward, former alTURNERtive Prize nominee Abi Granger and art teacher Harriet Stripling.

Sara Nakash was announced as winner to an expectant audience in the Berwick Road Gallery on the 1st of December. The judges commended the intensity and commitment of Sara’s practice. Sara skilfully produced work around the theme of maternity and childbirth. Sara’s installation uses drawing, painting, sculpture and audio to produce a claustrophobic intense emotional experience. Sara has broad interests and this is exemplified in her work for the exhibition. The Popular Prize, voted for by Year 7 students, was awarded to Nicole Malcolm for a large scale oil painting exploring the surface of fabric.



History, Philosophy and Ethics Exhibition

The History, Philosophy and Ethics department have take over the gallery for the final weeks of the school term. The exhibition encourages students to engage with History, Ethics and Philosophy through interaction and the visual arts. On the opening night there was over 50 parents, students and teachers who enjoyed the exhibition and speeches from students on a range of topics. Amongst the speeches there was:

‘Can hackivism be a source for good?’ by Jeremy Fosten and ‘What did Simone De Beauvoir argue?’ by Carni O’Driscoll.

Well done to the History, Philosophy and Ethics department, and in particular Danny Conway for curating and organising the show.

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Courtauld Collection Visit

On 9th May a selected group of talented Year 7 Canon students visited The Courtauld Gallery in London. These students will be working hard over the next few weeks to investigate artworks in the Courtauld collection.

We toured around the gallery with the graphic artist Millie Knight and viewed some special paintings which would become clues in their personal investigations. Students viewed the current Botticelli exhibition, showing works on paper taken from a book illustrating Dante’s Divine Comedy. They made drawings and searched for hidden details in some of the drawings.

Welling year 7 students were then given privileged access to the Prints and Drawings Room; they are the youngest ever to have seen these artworks in their collection. We had to take precautions before entering the room including washing our hands and leaving all pencils and pens outside, the artworks were unglazed and very precious. After an introduction by the curator Rachel, telling us about the size of the Courtauld’s collection and how valuable the pieces are, we then viewed pieces by Lucian Freud, Peter Paul Rubens, Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, JMW Turner, Thomas Gainsborough and Juan de Juanes. Students worked as art detectives to discover facts about the works from their observations, making notes and creating research questions which they could further investigate throughout the project.

Students then participated in a workshop with Millie Knight, looking at formats of books and how research can be visually presented. They made concertina books which they will add to before their workshop in school next month with Millie and the gallery’s Young Person Coordinators.


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V and A Project with Jamie Jenkinson

Year 10 Photography students have been taking part in workshops with the V and A’s digital artist in residence – Jamie Jenkinson, with the outcome being a series of films made by students that will be screened at the V and A on the 27th November.

During the workshops students have experimented with different filming techniques. Inspired by artist Tony Hill, students physically moved the camera to create images and later made drawings into films, inspired by artist Len Lye. Lastly, they explored the one-point perspective, as pioneered by Stanley Kubrick and used images of objects from the V & A collection to remake a scene from the film Dumb and Dumber.









The Big Draw 2015

IMG_5327IMG_5352This year over 500 students, parents, carers and staff at Welling School took part in the The Big Draw, throughout October.

Participants were given an incomplete image of an artist, which they were invited to complete through drawing. Everyone was given the same rule, which was to use three different black pens.

Art teachers Joseph Cartwright and Stacey Green also held workshops with Year 4 and 5 students from Barrington Primary School. This has since evolved into a longer term project that explores artists lives, which will be published as a book in December.


London Art Book Fair

Welling School was back for it’s forth year at the London Art Book Fair. This year we were selling copies of A Cookbook of Possibilities, a publication made by six form students and Hato Press, alongside the Party Pack activities for children and free copies of æ.

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Hidden from History: Welling School Year 7 Students and the Courtauld Institute of Art


Hidden from History: Welling School Year 7 Students and the Courtauld Institute of Art

The Courtauld Institute of Art and Welling School worked together throughout the 2014-15 academic year. From Medieval saints to Paul Gauguin’s radical nudes, the students have explored the collection working with artists, academics, and designers. Ten students were selected from their peers to make zines, investigating the theme of gender in The Courtauld Gallery. The zines were printed by the students at The Common House in Bethnal Green, which is a collectively managed space for radical groups, projects and community events.

The zines will be inserted into the next issue of ae newpaper.


*curated book shelf of related texts.

The Reading List: Current projects

Sharing a selection of current readings for our ongoing outreach/collaborative projects…

Considering theoretical framing for the Concrete Poetry outreach workshops I am making links to ideas around Play and Social Practice.

Also taking time over the Easter break to contextualise the thoughts we have been exploring about gender in Canon Art History lessons, in anticipation of our further collaboration with the Courtauld Gallery. In the summer term Year 7 students will be working to create zines questioning the role of women in Art History, their question: Hidden from History? Discuss women’s role in The Courtauld Gallery and beyond.