We are lucky enough to have a professional artist and teacher working in our custom built Art Room within the school. Susanna Davies is an artist and illustrator, working in Brockley. She has widely exhibited in London and Gloucestershire, as well as appeared on Sky Landscape Artist of the Year. Ms Davies has taught in secondary education for 5 years, worked as a community artist in Hackney as well as supported the education department for families at The Whitechapel gallery. Ms Davies has a particular fascination with trees and recycling of materials. She finds many extraordinary things within the ordinary, all of which is integrated with energy and expression to draw all Heber children into the wonders of Art and power of making.
The children have plenty of opportunities to express themselves using a variety of different media, such as clay, paint, textiles, drawing, collage to name a few. Children are taught specific art skills and shown how to use art equipment appropriately. Art is always a cross-curricular activity drawing on and being inspired by other areas of learning such as History, Geography, Science, Maths as well as different cultures. Music, cuisine and belief systems of the past and present are all expressions of art and serve as the inspiration to the individual works produced by the children who are encouraged to express their thoughts and ideas on the art and artists that they discover in the Art Room.
Children use a wide range of tools, equipment and materials. They are given the space, time and support of enthusiastic staff to help them develop their potential. All children are told when they ask, ’Can I do this?’ yes you can as you are the artist – these choices are for you to make.
At the start of each term, all children are entered into Art Boot Camp. These are lessons that are designed to challenge and address important skills and knowledge specific to Art and kept in their metaphorical art tool box. After these initial lessons, the class start on Topic inspired activities relevant to their year group using any past knowledge gained at Boot Camp. Examples of these skills are: The colour wheel, colour theory, mixing paint, perspective, mark making, texture, tone, pattern, proportion, positive and negative space, composition, art history, art terms and vocabulary, printing skills, 3D construction and art appreciation to name but a few.
Annually the Art Room organises and hangs a show that celebrates the hard work and success of our children and all parents and carers are invited to attend and marvel at the talent that Heber is proud to have here.
In the past Heber art has appeared on a local housing development in East Dulwich and featured on the huge video wall at Waterloo station as well as other rail stations throughout the land as part of a Christmas themed competition. Children have also won local art competitions and exhibited this success in local shops.
This film documents the children throughout their extraordinary making process, from conception through to delivery of an incredibly diverse Coral Reef installation. They crossed disciplines with Science and Citizenship through their extensive lesson research of alarming environmental reports on our oceans.
Along with images, we entered this film into The Global Canvas Children’s Art Competition which was set up in 2004 by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation to encourage young people to express their concern for the environment through art. This was a great opportunity for the children to recreate this visually sensational ecosystem whilst acknowledging our impact as humans on the oceans. Providing the children with such a wealth of materials and processes to create with was extremely important, in order to demonstrate how a contemporary artist can work, from weaving and sewing with textiles, to sculpting with recycled plastic and modrock, to mixed media painting, to chalk pastel and collaborative collage on streams of wallpaper even! We engaged on so many scales, thanks to the amount of time Year 4 is given to explore the Arts at Heber.
Although we did not get selected for the finals, we hope you agree that this film is an incredible reflection of their attitude, compassion, collaboration, and determination to achieve such beautifully captivating and considered works.