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Great variety of work at Somersfield IB Art Exhibition

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Centrepiece: Peter Strachan’s clinker built boat with fish at the Somersfield Academy IB Art Exhibition

I recently visited the IB Art Exhibition at Somersfield Academy. Viewing the show was for me a real pleasure and I was also able to meet the three young artists responsible for creating it. They are Jasmin Hasselkus, Naomi Every and Peter Strachan. I also met their teacher, Sarah Pierroz, who is in her own right an accomplished artist and an experienced educator.

Having spent a good deal of my professional life teaching the visual arts, I have a keen interest in what students do. What was impressive about this show was not only the quality of the work, but also the technical variety on display. Not only was there the more traditional paintings and drawings, but also welded sculpture, ceramic sculpture, kites, printmaking (linocuts and serigraphy) and photography, to name a few.

Each student, it seems, selected a theme, on which they then built their part of the show. Jasmine created her art around the “multifaceted nature of dependency”, such as substances abuse or co-dependency etc, while Naomi took as her subject Bermuda’s allure. Peter took as his theme certain fishing methods employed by Portuguese fisheries.

Double-headed hammer by Jasmine Hasselkus

In my own school days during the Second World War. We were lucky to be given a rather thin drawing pad and a pencil and possibly a few crayons. Often we resorted to making-do with scraps of paper, offcuts of wood, nails and a hammer, but with whatever, we created.

Well, for sure today, there is a greater emphasis on the importance of creative activities in education. Equally there has been a corresponding improvement in facilities. It is now recognised that the arts are an important ancillary to other aspects of learning and are not just something extracurricular. It has been demonstrated conclusively that students in art programmes tend to be high achievers in academic subjects as well.

I am now thinking of a clinker built boat, the work of Peter, that was the central feature of the Somersfield IB show. I estimate that from bow to stern, it was four feet long and with a symbolic eye painted near the bow. Apparently Portuguese fishermen emblazon their boats with this symbol to help guarantee a good catch.

Man whitewashing a roof, by Naomi Every

Nearby and again hanging from the ceiling, as was Peter’s boat, are a pair of Bermuda head-stick kites, the work of Naomi.

Jasmine created an intriguing double headed hammer attached to what I imagine was the curved tops of walking sticks, I noted also her impressive drawings skills and a superbly sculpted, highly realistic hand.

This was a splendid exhibition organised by three very talented young artists, that regretfully was only on show for just a few days and is now finished, however I understand that it was open one evening for the public to attend it.

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Published April 27, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 26, 2024 at 3:09 pm)

Great variety of work at Somersfield IB Art Exhibition

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