Bedales Prep pupils and staff showcase creative talent

Bedales Prep, Dunhurst, has launched an exhibition at the Bedales Gallery this month, showcasing talent across the school community featuring art, textiles, ceramics and design work by pupils, teachers and support staff.

Highlights of the Exhibition include ‘The Big Draw’ showing portraits created by all the school, including cleaning staff, cooks, teaching and support staff as well as pupils. The school participates in this annual event, now registered with the National Campaign for Drawing, to provide the opportunity for everyone who works or studies at Dunhurst to try their hand at drawing with the aim of dispelling the myth “I can’t draw”. The pictures spread the length of the gallery and it was through this exercise that Elaine Hewitt, Dunhurst’s Head of Creative Studies, discovered the hidden artistic talents of members of the support staff including Cassandra Crook a cleaner at Dunhurst and Garath Tulett a carpenter in the school’s facilities department. Gareth painted a portrait of his father-in-law as a 60th birthday present and Elaine thought the painting was worthy of a place in the exhibition.  Cassandra’s art-work was inspired through the ‘big draw’ project. The last time Cassandra had painted was when she was at school so she was delighted that her talents were recognised in the Exhibition.

The pupils’ work captures their experiences throughout the academic year including art work created during an art trip to Barcelona and sculptures with Andy Cheese who created the shepherd statue in Petersfield’s Shepherd’s Walk. Andy, who teaches at Bedales, took up the role of artist in residence at Dunhurst last year and worked with the pupils on a sculpture project that now graces the school grounds.

The Creative Studies teachers at Dunhurst have also included their own work featuring paintings and ceramics. This year’s exhibition is particularly special for the School as Elaine Hewitt will be retiring at the end of this academic year along with art teacher Louise Banks, who will be leaving in July. Both teachers have taught at the school for over 20 years.

Commenting on the exhibition, Jane Grubb, Head of Bedales Prep, said “This annual exhibition is an important event in our calendar as it is a culmination of all the hard work and creative ideas produced by the pupils throughout the academic year. The Big Draw is a project that everyone in the school enjoys taking part in and it is fun for people to identify themselves in the gallery of the many faces here at Dunhurst. It is great that through this exercise we have indentified hidden talent amongst the support staff in our community too and I am delighted that we are able to inspire everyone in our community. This is a very fitting final exhibition for Elaine and Louise after over 20 years of teaching art at the school.”

The exhibition will run until March 20th and is open to all and free to attend. Viewing times are:  2 – 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 1pm Saturdays.

Cassandra with her art on display

Gareth with his art on display

Louise Banks with her bird paintings in the Exhibition

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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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