The Art department at Kingswood School provides pupils of all ages with the opportunity to create exciting and unique artwork in a range of media, during timetabled lessons and independently in activity sessions. Examination results are consistently exceptional, and the School is proud of its artistic heritage and successes.
The Art department is generously housed in an attractive, detached period building, located over three floors. The building includes well-equipped specialist areas for drawing and painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and digital and traditional photography, as well as a dedicated studio for Sixth Form students.
A suite of 16 computers and an extensive art library provide opportunities for research and digital manipulation of imagery. The examination groups make numerous visits to galleries during the academic year. The highlight of the year is the annual Summer Exhibition held at the end of June, which showcases a wide variety of student artwork, with every examination pupil being proudly represented.
Key Stage 3
The department's ethos is to promote individual curiosity and the importance of drawing, in its broadest context. All pupils in Years 7 and 8 undertake a foundation course that covers the fundamentals of the subject while helping them to develop skills and confidence. Pupils learn the importance of seeing and recording through the experimental use of line, tone, mixed media, colour and three dimensions. In Year 9, pupils have the opportunity to work in much smaller groups to explore aspects of drawing, printmaking and sculpture.
At GCSE level, pupils follow the AQA Fine Art specification. With two components, comprising a ‘Portfolio’ (60%) selected from the course of study and an ‘Externally set assignment’ (40%), pupils experience a range of creative opportunities to develop and explore their personal interests in art and design. Pupils are encouraged to independently investigate, create and communicate their own ideas.
At the start of Year 10, the coursework is narrowly focused before becoming more open-ended over the duration of the two-year course. There is no restriction on the choice of media, scale or format that pupils may use to reflect and evidence their Fine Art submissions. Development, refinement, recording, realisation and presentation of ideas are key to success at GCSE level.
Please see a selection of GCSE artwork below.
A-Level pupils follow the OCR Fine Art specification and are encouraged to take risks and develop as artists. The two-year linear course is made up of two components: a 'Personal investigation' (60%) and an 'Externally set task' (40%).
The Personal investigation has two integrated elements: a portfolio of practical work and a related study which explores the context in which pupils' chosen practical area of study exists. Pupils can investigate one or more areas of study, such as Portraiture, Landscape, Still Life, Human Form, Abstraction, Experimental Imagery, Narrative, Installation or Working in a Genre. Pupils are encouraged to independently explore, research and acquire techniques and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding in a range of Fine Art media.
Please see work produced by this year's Upper Sixth below.
Throughout the past two years studying Art, my work has revolved around my interest in Architecture and its relationship with the environment.
"I have explored this theme through the contrast between the philosophy of Organic Architecture and the Constructivist Movement. Both my digital and sculptural outcomes are underpinned by a narrative relating to the social issue of overpopulation."
I am interested in artwork that is able to use rhetorical means to provide commentary on issues within society and that are important in today’s ever-changing world.
"Art that holds a meaning is art that intrigues me, which is what I aim to replicate. My art aims to portray my emotions or opinions on certain topics through the use of imagery and text. The subtleness or obviousness of the comments I intend to convey is what I like to experiment with in order to determine the most powerful outcome when getting the issues across.
"I focus on how imagery and multimedia can convey messages that impact our current generation, both socially and politically. I find the combination of both words and images necessary for my artwork to be successful in conveying the intended message. Whether it be further awareness of the refugee crisis, the gap between poverty and wealth, or the excessive consummation of plastic, my work aims generate more awareness for the issues that I believe really matter."
What I love about Art is the lack of boundaries and the limitless opportunities for creativity.
"Artwork can be created in many different shapes and sizes, with a wealth of materials and techniques. It is a way of communicating, expressing views and thoughts in a multitude of ways.
"My artwork explores the interaction of materials and how they work with each other, in other words, if they are compatible or not. Because of my interest in patterns and surfaces, I have explored this theme in many ways which vary from observing and recording through photography, to the practical skills such as painting, making collages, manipulating and experimenting with different materials. Over the two years, I created many mixed media pieces of various sizes, before selecting and combining sections to construct large scale personal outcomes."
An artwork’s ability to stimulate emotional and physical reactions has always been fascinating to me.
"The personal associations that someone makes when engaging with an artwork can potentially be as, if not more, emotive than what the work itself portrays.
"My Practical Portfolio has questioned the conventional idea of family through sentimental objects. Using my christening gown, I created a number of photograms; the physicality and repetition of this process enabled me to explore “traces” of objects, much like memories clouded with the distance of time. The complex nature of family history can leave lasting impressions that are initially “unseen”.
"My External Assignment explored ageing. How does this differ between the natural and manmade world? I came across the Japanese ideal of Wabi- Sabi; my work now questions the current view of beauty as perfection. I want the audience to be lured in to appreciating the exquisite beauty of minute and “unseen” details in nature."
Technically, my portraits highlight the juxtaposition between detail and the unknown - I choose implicit themes to convey a sense of mystery.
"My main aim is to create impact. Whether this is through confusion, painting obscure scenes that would not usually be painted, or through my colour palette and range of brushstroke sizes. I want to subordinate a viewer’s attention, and cause them to reconsider what it is about visual portrayals of humans that is so emotive and striking.
"I have realised that hyperrealism and detail can sometimes restrict emotion in painting, and my work has become increasingly expressive - exploring a wider range of colours and techniques within acrylic portraiture."
My work stems from my interest in architecture, facades and structure. My artwork is a development of concepts, investigating what I find intriguing and exploring towards a resolution.
"From working on a flat surface, I was unsatisfied with the effect, wanted to create something more impactful so I went onto making my 2D patterns three dimensional. My coursework was an angular sculpture with translucent patterns on top, a conclusion of what I had explored and done.
"I have such a broad interest in art, especially for contemporary art; which is why I took such a turn for my exam piece. My vision was space making, creating a confined space which invites audiences’ interactions, exploring outside the normal setting of A Level art, enhancing the way my art is perceived by the viewers."
Primarily through my interest in natural form, my work pushes the boundaries of traditional landscape artwork and combines it with aspects of abstraction within the realm of colour and expression.
"Therefore, the form is loose and the movement is organic, focusing on the contrast between segregation and integration which mirrors the movement of natural creation. I want my art to invite the viewer to recognise the medium between realism and imagination while also reflecting on the circular format that embodies the primary inspiration of my work; the planet earth.
"My most recent work has been sculptural based, addressing the contrast between necessities and luxuries in order to concentrate on the social injustices within our society. I also incorporate the narrative of the less fortunate to hone in on the ignorance and prejudices of others."
The Art A level course has allowed me to delve into the theoretical world of architecture whilst letting me create in response to my findings.
"My initial focus on ornament in architecture allowed me to research into the theory and history of the subject. This then developed into building a creative approach that culminated in learning new skills such as projection work. This was exciting as this form of presentation is being explored as a method of both entertainment and architectural ornamentation by many architects today in the form of projection mapping.
"For my exam project, I decided to take a new path away from architecture and explore social commentary in art. However, despite the very different paths I have taken with each project I think that they link to the idea of architecture by understanding where architecture and humanity have been and where they now are in the present. This understanding is so important in a subject like architecture where humanity and history are at the core of what an architect produces. Therefore, understanding these at their creative level unlocks the key to success in a subject like architecture."
My interest in painting stems from the desire to capture human character through the processes of mixing colour and applying it in such a way to recreate the form accurately.
"I am particularly fascinated by the human face, portraiture is also an opportunity for the exploration of flesh, form and emotion. More specifically self-portraiture interests me as it is an opportunity to reflect on internal emotions and express them in a creative and unique way. It can be difficult to capture the emotions of another person without reflecting one’s personal perception of them and their personality."
The way in which Art intrigues people and enables them to produce different conclusions from the work fascinates me.
"Art can be subjective and allows people to explore and relate to work on their own accord. The type of the work that fascinates me revolves around pushing boundaries and crossing lines into what is politically correct and what is socially desirable. Having underlying statements which induces questions, confusion and a desire to act and make a difference.
"The work I produce centres around the question ‘what is socially acceptable’ however the underlying meaning of my work aims to convey a message to the viewer, a message to make them act. By combining photography, mixed media and text, I aspire to make people consider their opinions on a more selfless scale.
"My inspiration stems from issues that I have witnessed in everyday life which are constantly progressing. We tend to turn a blind eye to events that mean little to us, yet with this attitude there will be no scope for development. The process has enabled me to consider my own intentions in order to relate to these issues on a larger scale."
Old Masters preparatory drawings have always fascinated me with their incredible ability to strike the viewer with their perfection yet incompletion, as well as brilliantly serving their primary purpose in the completion of the final painting.
"During the course of my project, I have experimented with various materials and techniques that both Renaissance and contemporary artists would use. My main aspiration in these drawings is not only to follow the rules of composition and proportion but also to create a lively piece of work, that I could always return to and redraw, to make it even more striking.
"My fascination with European Art has further prompted me to look at the works of Caravaggio and the Caravaggism Movement. My attempt to emulate his style and technique in painting has resulted in a long and exciting journey for me. Currently, my exploration lies within Romanticism, emphasising the aesthetical aspect of the drawing."
I’m a ‘maker’ at heart having always been interested in the process and techniques involved in creating the things we use every day.
"Leaders in the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris and John Ruskin, taught us that traditional crafts could be seen as true art, elevated from their everyday use and appreciated for their great beauty. This ‘art of the everyday’ such as clothes, children’s toys and textiles are living works of art that we see all around us ‘hung’ in the moving galleries of our streets and homes.
"My work seeks out the beauty in these functional objects – but I also believe we can’t hide from the ugliness of the concepts and ideas that they can convey.
"Deconstructing the materials for me is to deconstruct the myths they contain. My work makes, destroys and rebuilds to show the truth hidden in the stitches and pleats of the garments we wear and the items we use."
My artwork reflects on how I perceive architecture, which has always seemed to grip my attention.
"Through studies of patterns, optical arts, shadows and architectural software, I was able to create sculptures which are eye-catching, to me, at least. AutoCAD and the Laser Cutter are my main mediums solely because they offer consistency and precision within my work, unlike any paint related mediums.
"To compensate for the lack of colour, illusion of space and depth perceptions was used in its place, which essentially gives my artwork more dimension and allows a different perspective to be seen from different angles to the sculpture."
My work focuses on the documentation of sub-cultures around me, be it from Southbank Skaters, to the independent music scene around Bath.
"This occurs usually through the mediums of photography and video, as it allows me to capture a moment or a scene in a split second, capturing a singular moment in time. While my previous two topics have centred around my journey of learning how to shoot and manipulate video, the subject of these projects have always had some personal connection to me, hopefully allowing me to show a side of these cultures’ unseen by the audience."
Made in Kingswood
Every year, the Art and Design & Technology departments celebrate the outstanding work produced by their students with the annual Made in Kingswood Exhibition. Please see below images from last year's exhibition as well as a link to an archive of work from recent years.