Art & Design Exhibition celebrates students’ talents

This year’s Summer Exhibition of work by Art and Design students was a celebration of their success in continuing to produce exceptional work during the disruption of the past 16 months.

Coursework by students studying GCSE Art, Photography, Food & Nutrition, Design & Technology, and A Level Art, Graphics, Photography and Product Design was displayed in the new school atrium to an invited audience of the students’ families and friends.

The exhibition was a visual celebration of the diverse forms of expression and techniques used, as well as the connections between art and design. Several students used lockdown and the events of 2020/21 as a platform for their creative voice, with photography projects focusing upon isolation, Black Lives Matter and Women’s Rights. There were also projects based upon diversity, mental health, identity and the environment.

Faculty Leader of Design Jo Oates said: “Students used visual communication as a platform to explore, record and voice their concerns, thoughts and passions, which was wonderful to see and be a part of. The breadth and variety of the work illustrates how diverse the curriculum is: students are encouraged to respond to their own starting points, exploring their own ideas using materials, techniques and methods that they are interested in and motivated by.”

The Summer Exhibition also reflected the lengths that students and staff have gone to in order to continue the creative curriculum during a period marked by remote teaching via the school’s iPads.

Mrs Oates said: “As a faculty we utilised visualisers, created YouTube tutorials and held live cook-alongs via Teams in order to maintain our curriculum offer. We also ensured that students were provided with equipment packs, which enabled them to continue their work at home.”

She added: “Most remarkable by far is just how resilient and hard working the students have been. Despite the difficult circumstances, they remained focused and industrious throughout, producing work that they should be immensely proud of.”

Harrogate Grammar School Headteacher, Neil Renton, said: “The standard of this year’s Summer Exhibition was breathtaking. Students displayed a sense of resilience and professionalism which will stand them in good stead for the future, and I’m extremely grateful to our leaders for continuing to inspire and motivate them throughout a disrupted year.”