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11th February 2020

An interview with Form 7 Art student Gabe

Form 7 pupil Gabe talks to us about his art.

Describe your art

Combining elements of naturalistic sculpture of the human form in abstract compositions.

When did you first become interested in art?

Visiting art galleries on holidays to Italy and coming to Speech Days when my older siblings first joined the School, where I was amazed by the Sculpture Department. For me my interest in art in general stems from my initially exclusive interest in sculpture. I started asking for clay for Christmas half way through primary school and making sculptures at home, mainly of gorillas, because I was naturally drawn to creating things in three dimensions. It felt more substantial than simply colours on a page.

What is your favourite tool or material to work with?

At the moment my favourite material to work with remains clay, although I expect when I have further experience of stone carving, which I have experimented with this year but haven’t had time to become skilled enough to achieve what I can in clay, it will come to be my favourite material.

Where do you go to find creative inspiration?

Sometimes ideas just appear, other times they are collages of images, either on paper or in my mind. Sometimes some of the elements of these collages are inspired by either my own or other artists’ work. This combining together of ideas often leads on to a kind of theme which may spur on further adaptations of the composition, the geometry of which has also sometimes been inspired by other artists.

What is the first arty thing you can remember making?

A scribbly crayon drawing of an imaginary medieval battle scene when I was in year one at primary school.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about studying Art at Pre-U level?

If they are human then they must have some level of creativity, and doing art will allow them to explore where this lies and hone it. You will see your surroundings in a different light, and certainly pay more attention to them, as well as being able to express your thoughts through another medium. It is more time consuming than any A-level the School offers, but also in most cases far more valuable. This School’s Sculpture Department is one of the best in the UK. Consequently, it seems an odd idea to come to Oakham without getting involved in art if you enjoy it. Don’t let anyone dissuade you from choosing the subject on the false grounds that it is not academic enough, when in fact it will make you stand out.

What are you going to study next year?

Next year, if I meet my offer, I’m going to study Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Oxford. A number of the modules this course offers on the Archaeology side are elements of ancient art. Had I not chosen art I would not have been drawn to this course that combines what are now my main interests: art and history. It was clear from the questions I was asked in the interviews that what made me stand out from other candidates, and perhaps what played a large role in their decision to offer me a place, was that I had studied and had a first-hand experience in art.

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