Students that start at St Marylebone in Year 7 have had such varied experiences of art… Some have really arty parents and have been to many art classes and events, go to galleries and draw often, others have not so much as picked up a paint brush. So we are mindful in Year 7 to get all students feeling happy and confident in art lessons. We vary the projects between painting, drawing, ceramics and design, rewarding all good work with postcards and stickers made of the most exciting work in the year group…
Year 7’s study the wonderful colour work of Matisse, looking at painting, portraits, representation and individuality.
They start by looking at colours and ways of using them, as well as still life drawing/painting. Next they learn how to draw with scissors, using cutting and collage as a way of representing their still life.
Finally they work in a similar way to Matisse, painting paper, drawing out shapes of still life images of their own choosing and collaging them together to make a beautiful final piece.
By Year 8 students have a much clear idea of their strengths and weaknesses in art. The aims for the year include ways of working, being experimental, being free with painting and loose with drawing. We look at Gerhart Richter and try abstract paintings , all based on the sea.. in fact we paint to music (the storm interludes by Benjamin Britten – based on the sea around Southwold) and then in the spring play with the idea of self portraits.. we look at Jenny Saville, Ana Mendiata, Frida Kahlo and Cindy Sherman… The artists all have unusual ways of self representation, looking at some of the issues that young women are faced with, like body image, being yourself, and what being a woman in London in 2012 means to the students themselves.
We end this year with some ceramics work and textiles to really give the students access to a whole variety of experiences.
In Year 9 students are encouraged to develop their own processes and gain the independent and analytical skills required for further studies in art and design. In addition to workshop style skills development, students have more ownership over their projects and can make their own choices too.