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Oakham's Artists Enjoy Creative Freedom in Lockdown

Whilst the Art studios of Oakham’s Richard Bull Centre were closed due to lockdown, teachers and pupils throughout the School found new and different ways to express themselves creatively in the comfort of their own homes.

Sixth Former Olivia Brown reports:

‘Learning a practical subject, like Art, was very different last term, however, working on the tasks from home gave me the opportunity to find more creative approaches to the work, using the supplies I had to make my work interesting. Working on my own helped me to further develop my own style and not constantly compare it to others and the teachers were just as supportive online as they were in the classroom.

I talked to my Art teachers about how they overcame the challenges of distance learning. Ms Stephenson said,

“I encouraged my students to find solutions to what was being asked for rather than thinking of them as hurdles. Art can be made from anything and each student had a world of visual stimuli around them that they did not have in a classroom.

I found it interesting using photography as a window into what the student is experiencing which was very different from their life at school. It gave them a visual dialogue showing where they were and what they experienced which had an effect on the way they saw things.

Another advantage was that there was quiet and concentrated time dedicated to the work set”.

Director of Art Ms Brass said,

“I tried to push my own practice as a teacher and explored different ways that I could use the on-line platform.  It has been a pleasure to teach some experimental approaches to writing and researching.

It was nice to work alongside others in the studio and to get inspiration and ideas, but I noticed that some students have benefited from working in a more private way and being selective about what they share rather than everything being on show as the work is made.  It has made me think about how we can present different opportunities now we are back at school.

I enjoyed collaborating with the other teachers in my department to devise innovative lessons and thinking of ways to get students off the screen and developing their skill”.

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