A Level Fine Art and Photography Students Get Creative


A group of enthusiastic A Level Fine Art and Photography students travelled by train to the ‘Creative Process’ lectures based at ‘The Institute of Education’ in London. The day consisted of presentations by four renowned Artists/Photographers; Martin Parr, Rosalind Wyatt, Fiona Rae and Grayson Perry.

Students were introduced to Martin Parr who is one of the country’s leading photographers, and member of Magnum Photos.  Martin took students through his photographic career up to the present day, starting with an explanation of his simple but highly original process used for his early ‘Bad Weather’ series, and ending with his most recent ‘Self Portraits’ where his travels and humour can be seen. Martin was a popular speaker on the day and his humbling, entertaining and comical stories had the students all amused.

Rosalind Wyatt, known for her Textiles and Typography, then took to the stage.  Her work brings together three elements – art, life and lettering.  Rosalind touched students with her series ‘The Stitch Lives of London’ which tells stories on garments, such as an image on the t-shirt worn by a man who was going to jump off a bridge until a passer-by talked him down, he later tracked his rescuer through social media.  Also the story of Mary Pearse, a 15 year old pauper who never owned shoes, her story is stitched on a silk pair of shoes that may have been made by her late father.  

It was then the turn of abstract painter Fiona Rae, an expressive painter who’s colourful and joyful paintings have been exhibited extensively in museums and galleries internationally. Fiona not only engaged with students through her paintings, but also gave students a virtual tour of her art studio and fascinated them with information about a day in her life as an artist; explaining her daily routines, her painting techniques and processes and her reoccurring themes such as oriental influences and cartoon characters.

The last speaker, Turner Prize-Winner Grayson Perry, who uses traditional forms such as ceramics and tapestries in unconventional ways to comment on injustice, hypocrisy, consumer culture, taste and class.  Grayson was by far the biggest hit amongst the crowd as he jumped out onto the stage, dressed as his alter-ego Claire wearing a little party frock, to a great applause.  He amused students with his humorous and witty stories about his journey from a university graduate to artist celebrity, which was honestly told without glamour, but had everyone laughing.

All the students had great day and commented that it was a fantastic opportunity to meet some well-known artists and photographers, as well as hear their experiences first hand.  They are already talking about attending next years’ event!