Art bus visits Bedales – marking retirement of Head of Art after 34 years

Bedales School was fortunate recently to host the CAA Art Bus, a mobile work of art designed by Sir Peter Blake which is also a mobile art gallery. The visit of the bus marked the retirement of George Hatton after 34 years as Bedales Head of Art.

Sir Peter designed the bus in a pop art style, with the aim of creating a rock ‘n’ roll tour bus for art and artists which visits schools, communities, festivals, galleries and art events. Bedales students were able to climb aboard and experience the art of some of the UK’s finest contemporary artists first hand by seeing their work in the bus gallery space.

Art Bus

George and his wife Serena, mounted a small exhibition entitled ‘Hat’s Off!’ to mark George’s retirement. Both have remained committed makers of art since leaving Corsham Court (Bath Academy of Art) in the early 1970s, from where they both received a BA in Fine Art. George has continued to make paintings and prints based on his response to the landscape of the South Downs and its wildlife, especially focussing on rooks and crows.

Keith Budge, Headmaster of Bedales commented:

“George joined Bedales as Head of Art in September 1978.  Not only was he, at 27, alarmingly young to be Head of Art, but George was also prepared to challenge the status quo. He has been hugely influential in raising the status of Art over his 34 years in post. The current standing of Art at Bedales, the take up of Art in the sixth form, the results and the numbers going on to do Art Foundation and even directly into Art-based degrees all speak for themselves.  Throughout his time George has, devotedly and with a quietly steely determination, encouraged students to take part in and enjoy what the subject has to offer.  Above all, he has combined the fine artist’s conviction in the power of observational drawing with a determination that students should be able to bring their own individuality and creativity to bear on their work.  The school owes a huge debt of gratitude to George for all that he has done for Bedales Art and he leaves with our best wishes for what we trust will be the next happy and productive phase in his creative life.”

George Hatton

The end of term also marked the retirement of Fran Box, Head of Learning Support at Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst, after 28 years. She joined what was then known as ‘The Middle School’ at Bedales in 1981, and after a short break, returned to Dunhurst in 1984.

Jane Grubb, Dunhurst Head added:

Fran has brought so much to the school. Through her diligent work she has helped children grow in confidence, enjoy their lessons and achieve great things. Pupils and staff will miss Fran immensely.”

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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