Art In The College

At the end of the School Year, an Art Exhibition was held in the Art Room. It presented, in the work of the 1st to 6th Forms, the new era in art and design represented particularly by the Op-art exhibits of John Goff and Timothy Harrington.

This modern art has established itself in our Art Room and, to find out how people felt about it, I asked many pupils and members of the staff what were their views on "Art in the College".

Some pupils who had never done Art found the work "very colourful" but there was "too much modern, abstract art"; they thought "there should be more 'Fine Art' like sculptures and ordinary paintings". However, those who did Art said "we ought to go beyond ordinary painting"; "there should be greater facilities for work"; "Art should be a subject, not a subjugation"; "we should be able to do art for our own needs -- there should be no examinations in it". One enthusiast said that "art should not be confined to painting and drawing but should include sound and drama appreciation". Another pupil pleaded for "more freedom in our work"; while a member of the staff asserted that "Art is the only subject in which the pupil can express his own ideas freely".

J. Goff 4R
"Construction In Tubes"
  J. Harrington 4R
"Excercise In Dimensions 1 to 3"

The comments from staff were quite varied. The standard of work was described by one as being "mediocre -- apart from a few exceptions". Did another intend a compliment when he said, "the work done portrays a large field of interest"? There was a plea for "more three-dimensional work"; and who might have asked "that the artist should try to involve the spectator in his art" in a manner analogous to that of audience participation in modern theatre?

A view held generally by the staff was that Art in the form of portable mosaics, sculptures and paintings should be displayed in corridors and classrooms throughout the College. This, besides providing varied decorative features, would help all pupils be more aware and more critical of different forms of visual art.

I sought a final comment on art in the College from a particularly well-known master. He said, "You know, you really ought to ask someone more intelligent". I did; the answer was, "Lovely!......Smashing!......Interesting......".

C. Greensted.

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