Part of Art – the 2020 Art Exhibition

It gives me great pleasure to be able to present to you the stunning artwork of this years’ GCSE and A Level Art students. This work which has been so thoughtfully, delicately and brilliantly created over the past two years is of course just a small snapshot of the wonderfully imaginative, thorough, personal, rich and diverse portfolios of artwork that our exceptional artists have produced during the last two years of their courses of study.

Lockdown Art Exhibition 2020


It is, of course, such a shame that we have been unable to celebrate their outstanding achievements in the usual way in school in the form of a physical exhibition, but I am sure you will agree that their artwork looks tremendous in this spectacular, special and unique digital exhibition.

We always have a unique title for the annual Art Exhibition, and this year is no exception. This year we are hoping that the girls still very much feel ‘A Part of Art’ even though we have been ‘Apart’ for a number of months now. The girls and their art will forever be in our hearts and we hope that their artwork will remain as special to them, as it is to us, and be a lasting legacy of what we, the staff, in the department feel has been such a memorable and wonderful time together in the Art studios.

Huge congratulations go out to each and every one of the girls; their absolute commitment, their thought-provoking ideas and their breath-taking technical prowess have been second to none. The standard of work is beyond their years and we have been blown away by the maturity of all aspects of their submissions. The breadth and depth of themes that the girls have tackled continues to amaze us, from environmental issues such as ocean pollution and the effects of global warming on the seasons, through to cultural heritage and religion, and of course personal identity and experience.

Mrs Johnston wanted to particularly mention the Upper Sixth Artists and their Personal Studies: “ Presenting artwork inspired by contemporary and historical artists, the Upper Sixth students have generated exciting bodies of work in a variety of media. Exploring genres such as fashion and textiles, installation, computer-generated design and architecture, their work reflects their independence of mind and differing interests. This diversity has encouraged the group to show great interest in each other’s work and made for sophisticated, well-developed written analysis in their Related Studies. These documents reflect how the art world refers to all aspects of life – political messages; pollution and the environment; portrayal of the female form; techniques and inspirations; mental illness; death; experiences of war – an array of subject matter chosen by our artists that will no doubt inspire Withington’s future A’ Level students for years to come.” Mrs Taylor has added her congratulations to her Upper Fifth class: “ It has been a pleasure to teach such a talented and dedicated group of artists over the last two years. The work in the exhibition looks fantastic and the girls should feel extremely proud.”

We all hope that all of the girls continue to be inspired to respond and react to the world around them by using their creative talents to positively voice their experiences, thoughts and ideas. At unprecedented times like this, artwork can be a fantastic tool for relaxation and reward, and artwork created at this time will be a lasting and immediate illustration of this unusual life we are all leading. I would like to thank all girls and Art staff in advance for agreeing to create a portrait for our key working Alumnae as a special gesture of gratitude for all they have done and are continuing to do for us all during the Covid-19 pandemic. We very much look forward to seeing what I know will be tremendous portraits and celebrating these in an exhibition in the next academic year. When back in school, we will all be able to view the GCSE and A Level artwork in all its glory around the corridor and display spaces around school and this will certainly be something to look forward to in the new academic year. We would like to wish our unforgettable Upper Sixth Artists all the very best indeed for the next exciting chapter in their lives. We know they will be hugely successful and will find ways to be creative in all of their chosen degree courses. We very much look forward to seeing the Upper Fifth back in school as Sixth Formers and hope that you enjoy seeing your work beautifully adorning and enhancing the walls in school for all students, staff and visitors.

Many congratulations again. We are so proud of you.

Mrs R Fildes
Head of Art