Leading lights give inspirational jewellery talk

By Veryan Vere Hodge, Head of Development

The Design Hub in the new Art & Design building was packed with students, Old Bedalians, present and past parents on 9 November to hear the life stories of jewellery experts Joanna Hardy (OB 1974-78) and Shaun Leane.

_dsc6901-cropJoanna talked of starting her jewellery-making life in the Bedales workshop with the help of teacher Martin Box, then becoming a diamond grader and a leading trader in the diamond industry.  She was hungry to learn and even though she was a young woman in a completely male dominated industry at that time, her gender soon became irrelevant.  She was respected for her knowledge and quickly realised that knowledge meant power, which no one could take that away from her.  She further inspired with tales of her extensive travels and going down mines all over the world, her incredible detailed knowledge of gemmology, and her experiences working for Phillips and Sotheby’s. She admitted she was terrified the first time she stood on the rostrum, but that she knew she had to put herself out of her comfort zone to keep developing. Joanna is now an Independent Fine Jewellery Specialist and her application to join the BBC Antiques Roadshow consisted of an email with a photo attached of her on her Harley Davidson motorbike – a good way to ‘stand out from the crowd’.

_dsc6869-cropShaun Leane then took to the floor and explained that he had been a restless child and a little bit naughty, but he found his path when at just 14, his school’s careers advisor helped him onto a foundation course and from there he went on to do a seven year apprenticeship as a goldsmith in Hatton Garden.  The fine examples of his early works were astonishing but it was his friendship with Alexander McQueen (known to him as Lee) that enabled him to put the traditional skills he had learnt to new mediums and push the boundaries of fashion.  His skeleton corset has become an iconic piece, showcased in museums all over the world.

He also talked of his honour to design a piece for Boucheron’s 150th anniversary.  The audience audibly gasped at the beauty of his ‘Queen of the Night’ piece as they did for his gauntlet ‘Contra Mundum’ made in collaboration with Daphne Guinness, which had taken four years to make and had pushed the boundaries of what was technically possible.   He now has his own Shaun Leane collection, inspired by his catwalk pieces and he continues to push the boundaries, working his designs onto buildings.  Both speakers had clearly worked hard during their careers, and this drive was evident in their complete passion for their subject matter.  The talk raised £800 for the John Badley Foundation and huge thanks goes to Joanna and Shaun, and also the BPA Fundraising Committee and Design department.

Find out more about Joanna Hardy here.
Find out more about Shaun Leane here.

Art and Design Centre – consultation results

The school is grateful for feedback on the Art & Design Centre plans and as a result many aspects have changed. In keeping with Bedales’ reputation for creativity, the building will represent the best in arts education – and it will now be more compact, maximise teaching space, have lighter cladding and be set further from Steephurst. There will be a smaller Facilities building next to the Centre with the bulk of maintenance activities moved to a new yard elsewhere. Planning permission is expected in January 2014 and the goal is to open the Centre in Autumn 2016. For further information on the Art & Design Centre project, please contact: Veryan Grant, Head of Development or visit the website.

Art & Design Centre

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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.

Sir Terence Conran ‘talks design’ at Bedales

Students, teachers, parents and members of our community were enthralled by Sir Terence Conran’s interview in the Olivier Theatre last week, where he was centre stage ‘Talking Design’ with designer and Old Bedalian Matthew Rice. Matthew prompted fascinating answers from Sir Terence on postmodern design, the inception of Habitat, his career as a restaurateur and the inspirations behind his many entrepreneurial ideas. The audience enjoyed hearing anecdotes such as when Baroness Thatcher was invited to open the Design Museum in London. Sir Terence gave insights into his inspiration behind furniture design and how observations of dreary 1950s interiors sparked ideas that transformed the furniture and home interiors industry. Read more. View photos.

Sir Terence Conran

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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.

Arty OBs and new Art and Design Centre

Students follow a wide variety of careers after leaving Bedales, a significant one of which is art. We have recently spoken to Old Bedalians about their time at Bedales, including professional sculptor Simon Hitchens (OB 1985), artist/painter Anna Dickerson (OB 1991) and figurative painter Diana Armfield (OB 1937). To read their interviews click on the links above or visit the Bedales website. Reminder: An exhibition to reveal plans for a significant milestone in Bedales’ history – the new Art and Design Centre – will be held on Friday 17 May, 6pm to 8pm and Saturday 18 May, 11am to 1pm in the Reading Room, Orchard Building. All parents and their wider families, students, OBs, current and former staff are welcome. The exhibition will remain open on Monday 20 May, 11am to 4pm for students only.

Simon Hitchens OB

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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.

Invitation to view Art and Design Centre plans

An exhibition to reveal plans for a significant milestone in Bedales’ history –  the new Art and Design Centre – will be held on Friday 17 May, 6pm to 8pm and Saturday 18 May, 11am to 1pm in the Reading Room, Orchard Building. All parents and their wider families, students, OBs, current and former staff are welcome. Refreshments will be provided. The exhibition will remain open on Monday 20 May, 11am to 4pm for students only.

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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.

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.