“The digital realm has the capacity to enable new forms of expression that were previously non-existent and, as we use these forms to evolve our culture, the capacity to thrive.” Omar Kholeif
Grayson Perry once declared that 'Many artists are extremely poor craftsmen while many great craftspeople are rubbish artists' but the entries to the Middle School House Art Competition this year have challenged this provocation. It is unsurprising that the experience of inhabiting a predominantly digital world for so long during the pandemic has resulted in many students adopting a digital language to express their creativity. The execution of these digital works, although produced using new vocabularies of artistic media, continue to embody the characteristics traditionally associated with the world of craft: a clear relationship with materials, a deep understanding of tools, a precise approach and a willingness to work 'slow'.
It is easy to track an increasing enchantment with digital tools like Krita, Blender and Procreate we have noticed, especially amongst our younger students, but it is plain to see that this is complemented with an ever-increasing hunger for a return to craft and making. Our students have shown that they are ready to embrace both traditional and digital approaches and the exciting responses to the theme ''Hybrid'' have reminded us that creativity functions best when a sophisticated technical prowess is fused with an agile and curious mind. The winning entries both demonstrate outstanding responses at opposite ends of the media spectrum but both embody this magical hybrid approach. Henry Yang's (Year 10) exquisite oil painting is a stunning counterpoint to Oliver Dittmer's (Year 10) mysterious Blender scene.
The joint winners of the Year 9 category present us with a similar duality: Daniel Goode's digital model of the DC Lab contrasted against Zachy Flemming's beautifully rendered pencil drawing of a hybrid fish. The moving animation Alexander De Almeida produced (Year 10 winner) showed a stunning union of digital techniques and hand drawn imagery. Ahimsa Ravi's (Year 11) playful sculpture, which was awarded first place in the Year 11 category, is the result of his intuitive ability to combine three dimensional elements and his excellent knowledge of computer aided design.
Enormous thanks 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. Congratulations to the overall winners Raleigh.