Art and Photography at Clayesmore
The school’s philosophy of developing the unique abilities of every girl and boy is nowhere more visible than in the work of our artists at Clayesmore. Our students are encouraged to think and develop individually, extend their knowledge and carve out their own creative paths.
Traditional skills are valued and developed in all age ranges. We believe that these skills are essential and they form the backbone of our courses and our ethos as a department. We aim to make disciplines like drawing fun and diverse, with different approaches, both within the Art Department and on location. We have introduced ‘Drawing Days’ into the calendar, as a means of developing students’ confidence and skill, and the Sixth Form also takes part in life drawing sessions.
Cultural trips are an essential element at both GCSE and A-Level, often forming important foundations on which coursework is built. Students are given the opportunity to study artworks and artefacts in major galleries and museums: the Pitt-Rivers museum and the Ashmolean in Oxford; the National Museum of Wales; The Victoria and Albert Museum; the Tate and National Galleries; The Royal Academy; The Photographers’ Gallery and others nearer to home, such as the renowned Hauser & Wirth in Somerset.
In addition to cultural trips, we regularly hold workshops with professional artists and practitioners within the school and out on location. We encourage an interest in artist makers and art history.
In the Sixth Form, the Art and Photography courses are designed to allow our students to explore their own ideas and pathways. They are encouraged to think creatively and to extend their contextual and cultural knowledge. Photography A-Level provides exciting opportunities to develop skills in lens-based media and to push the boundaries of image making. Fine Art provides a more materials-based approach, with opportunities of combining different disciplines and techniques. We endeavor to make our teaching exciting and stimulating at all levels, and to equip students for Foundation and Degree courses in Art and Design. Many Sixth Form artists go on from Clayesmore to achieve highly in creative areas such as Fine Art, Illustration, Photography and Film.
The Art Department benefits from excellent facilities in a wonderful building full of character and history. There is also a well-equipped photography studio on the main site. We have seven teachers in the Art Department, specialising in drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture. This provides our students with the opportunity to explore a wide range of media, and to develop as both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional artists. Work by our students is always on display throughout the school and we encourage participation in exhibitions and competitions.
Our aim is for these creative experiences to have a formative impact on the thoughts, lives and work of our students and to perhaps, in some cases, help to shape their futures.