Art is everywhere; In the clothes we wear, sweet wrappers, book covers and web pages .We are constantly bombarded online and in the real world. Almost everything we touch and look at has been designed or considered for its aesthetic value.
Why study Art?
Recent educational research has suggested that we cannot prepare pupils specifically for the jobs of the future because the world is moving so fast we do not know what those jobs might be. We can, however, train or teach them to be creative, independent thinkers. At Rydal Penrhos we aim to give pupils a head start in terms of thinking in a creative manner and working from self-initiated ideas and interests.
All pupils have Art lessons in Years 7, 8 and 9. Art is an option for GCSE and A Level.
At all levels, GCSE and A Level pupils are taught the basics in terms of formal elements and techniques. We teach through process or ‘doing’ and ‘showing’, rather than telling. In the second year of all the courses pupils are encouraged to become more independent and to work from their own interests or ideas. These might be well-worn themes of portraiture or landscape, or more demanding themes such as ‘identity’ may be tackled through photography, paint, sculpture, ceramics or textiles. The teachers work hard to tease out each pupil’s interests and strengths, and to encourage independent thinking.
We take numerous trips to visit galleries, both locally and further afield in Manchester and Liverpool, and we also go out into the spectacular Welsh countryside to find visual stimulation. Rydal Penrhos Art is a nurturing, encouraging environment where there are no boundaries in terms of scale, materials, subject matter and approach. Look up some of our pupil work now on our official Instagram account @Rydalpenrhosart
Every year we help pupils create exciting portfolios for their applications to Art school. In the recent past pupils have gone on to foundation courses at Loughborough University and Coleg Menai, and one of our present pupils has an offer to study at the University of the Arts, London, for 2016.
The two studios in the Rydal Penrhos Art School are very well equipped with computers with specialist Art software, a darkroom, a kiln for ceramics, and photographic studio lights and backdrop. Pupils can use old-fashioned wet-based, chemical photography, produce large digital images, and make films or animation during their time in Photography or Art A-level.
We are also extremely lucky to have a 200-year-old Albion printing press which we use for lino printing, and we have recently acquired an etching press. Our painting studio is equipped with easels and this allows us to do large, ambitious pictures on canvas.
The Sixth form have their own dedicated work space and pupils are encouraged to come and work independently during their study periods.