The Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Zilliah Brooks, and Sir George attended the opening of a two day exhibition of work by pupils at Rookwood School, in collaboration with artist in residence Allessandra Cattaneo. "Chapel Arts seconded Alessandra to Rookwood School, to work for several hours a week alongside the art teacher, to broaden the horizons of students and to challenge them into develop their talents in innovative ways. It was very kind of Alessandra to show me round, and explain how pupils were given a theme, and then invited to develop it themselves, often in collaberation with a fellow pupil." Sir George was shown a man made of clay, composed by Ella Neil, also at the exhibition was Alex Treasure, the art teacher at Rookwood, and the Head of Rookwood School, Louise Whetstone.
Chapel Arts have made enormous progress since they were launched a few years ago, and this was a marvellous showcase for the talented work of local pupils.
The text below is drawn from the invitation by Test Valley Arts Foundation.
PLAY/MAKE/LEARN is an exciting exhibition that showcases the work produced by Year 9 students at Rookwood School in collaboration with artist in residence Alessandra Cattaneo.
The work on display challenges contemporary themes of authorship, the value of art and has opened up the students minds to what art can be. Transcribing, altering and play have been key inspirations for this body of work. Students have responded to the work of others; famous artists, emerging artists and the work of their peers, they have interpreted it for themselves and created responses that exceed all expectations. Students have led their own work, they have tried new methods of making and experimented with different materials. The artist and students have challenged each other, have been inspired, have opened each others eyes to new things and have forged a unique relationship.
This exhibition goes along way into challenging the role of the artist, looking into active participation and questioning the value of art; themes that are challenging but have been embraced by the pupils and turned them into the next generation of contemporary artists giving all involved a show to be proud of.