Middle School House Art 2021

'The function of the artist in a disturbed society is to give awareness of the universe, to ask the right questions, and to elevate the mind.’ - Marina Abramovic

As we begin to emerge from the confines of lockdown living, the submissions of the annual Middle School House Art Competition under the theme ‘In/Out’ allow us to pause and reflect on our experiences. At a time when we were confined to our homes, often experiencing most of our days in one room, our surroundings (real or imaginary) became a significant part of our daily existence. Some found themselves suddenly paying attention to objects in our homes or becoming aware of details previously overlooked. Some found themselves staring out of windows, looking out to the street or into gardens as the light and weather changed. Others found themselves in completely different places, using the imagination as a form of escapism to transport oneself to foreign lands and imaginary worlds. Although all of our experiences of lockdown were different, the title ‘IN/OUT’ is something that can resonate with all of us. 

The artworks produced by Middle School artists demonstrate a deep introspection and a sophisticated technical prowess, reminding us that creativity can thrive even in the shadow of uncertainty. Archie McCombie’s (Year 10) winning entry is an evocative charcoal drawing of anguished faces with hands seemingly tearing at flesh. Archie took inspiration from the drama of Renaissance paintings as well as the layered works of contemporary painter David Theron. This skilfully executed drawing is a study of both the human form and the human mind, pushed to extreme limits.

Both 2nd and 3rd place were awarded to students who used digital methods to create otherworldly images.

The creation of Samuel Ray-Billington’s (Year 10) work was born out of re-visiting memories of holidays in the English countryside while trapped in his house during lockdown. His digital print, created using Photoshop and Adobe Render captures a memory, stored for safe keeping.

Similarly, Miles Standage’s (Year 10) entry is entirely artificial: created using 3D modelling software ‘Blender’. His surreal image is inspired by Rene Magritte presents us with a portal to an imagined landscape where the barriers between inside and outside become ambiguous.

Enormous congratulations to Jonson our overall house winners and a huge thanks goes out to all the pupils for your efforts and entries; your contribution is greatly appreciated and as a department we are so proud of your inspiring work.

House winners: 1st Jonson, 2nd Sidney, Joint 3rd Marlowe & Grenville, Joint 5th Raleigh & Spenser, Joint 7th Howard and Drake.  

Top banner image - Archie McCombie’s (Year 10) - 1st place

Middle School House Art 2nd Place Sidney - digital print

Samuel Ray-Billington’s (Year 10) - 2nd place

Middle School House Art 3rd Place - digital

Miles Standage’s (Year 10) - 3rd place


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