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Our Specialisms: Arts Update

Posted on: 03/02/2020

Reclaim Becoming Exhibition

On Thursday 30th January, we were delighted to welcome guests and visitors to Capital City Academy to an immersive exhibition called ‘Reclaim Becoming’ – a representation of the beauty and preciousness of life. This event was the culmination of an exciting art project that has been running with students at the Academy in collaboration with Eugene Ankomah; he is a contemporary artist who was an ex-Willesden High student and won the first ever Peter Evan's Award during his time at Willesden High.

Students embraced the opportunity to reflect and respond to Eugene’s artwork through a variety of art forms working with the artist for a series of art sessions over a 3-month period. The experience in working with an artist over an extended period to culminate in the creation of a thought-provoking exhibition was a unique experience which has developed not only the thinking of the students involved but also the audiences of students, parents, staff and members of the public.

Students who took part in the project reflected on the experience with enthusiasm saying:

“Working with Eugene over the past few months has been really educational and inspiring. During the workshop sessions, I learnt something new, using different materials and techniques. Eugene has been a real role model and teacher. I was honoured to be able to work with him. It was a good experience and I loved it. I thank Eugene for a wonderful experience.” Nathan A

“Working with the artist Eugene over three months allowed me to explore visual elements like photography and audio which was a very interesting experience for me. Eugene has been an inspiring artist; the best part of the workshop experience was being part of the exhibition - it was very powerful and emotional.”  Ibtisam A

The exhibition itself was an emotive event where collections of artwork created by students and Eugene were brought together in an engaging installation with an impactful soundtrack enhanced by performers.

Some of the students volunteered as performers to support the exhibition itself by dressing up and ‘playing a part’.

“When first entering the location of the exhibition I felt a sort of eerie atmosphere, however, when observing the contents slowly it came quite clear to me that it is quite a sensitive topic and it may hit hard especially if it is someone who has lost someone they love and care about. It is a good experience to reflect on the people who have lost their lives to crime and how the family or friends of that individual may feel.

During the event I volunteered by wearing a white forensic suit and handed out flowers to the guests arriving and asked them to place the flowers on the scene. Additionally, I got the chance to be interviewed about how I felt about this event. To conclude, I quite enjoyed this experience especially working with Eugene and the other students who have worked so hard in setting up the exhibition.” Hussein J

“The exhibition presented a very powerful atmosphere and almost felt  eerie as soon as you entered through the doors. The lighting was quite dim which made the whole presentation of the exhibition serious and the way the spotlights hit some of the images caught my eye. Furthermore, the noises and ambience of the exhibition was almost terrifying because of the cries and shouting which was also influential and had a massive impact on the entire exhibition. Being part of the exhibition was very interesting and exciting as Eugene made us wear forensic suits and told us to go into serious characters, lending the visitors flowers to ‘place at the scene’.” Julian L

We were delighted to receive some wonderful feedback from visitors who attended the exhibition:

"I urge and encourage everyone to go and see this immersive exhibition. Eugene has done a wonderful job of communicating and articulating the pressures facing young people in our modern society. His collaboration with the students is very powerful" – Graham, Vicar St. Martin's Church, Kensal Rise

"What a powerful exhibition. I found it quite full-on but very poignant. So much emotion. Wow!" - Heather Bannis

As a school we are very proud to have taken part in such a powerful project alongside such a talented artist.

“'Re-claim’ has been a very thought-provoking project for our students to be involved in and they have become immersed in art work they have produced with Eugene. It has been a great opportunity for students to work with a contemporary artist; learning how to respond and express their thoughts and feelings on such a relevant, current issue through different art forms. We are pleased that students were able to gain this opportunity and hope the exhibition highlights the preciousness of life.”

Kim Lee – Director of the Arts

“It has been a real privilege for our students to work with Eugene and they have all gained a huge amount from this opportunity. It is a pleasure to host the 'Re-claim Beginning…' immersive exhibition; we hope that it will be inspiring and thought-provoking for all who attend.  We are particularly proud of the high quality of the work, the community focus and the student dedication to this project and thank Eugene for choosing Capital City Academy to host this project.”

Marianne Jeanes, Principal

Primary School Clay Workshop

The Visual Art department have delivered fun clay workshops to local primary schools based on Natural Forms. Our workshops provide the young students with a chance to experiment and explore their creativity in a new way. We tailored the workshops for the students to develop basic artistic skills and curiosity.

After introductory sessions held at Capital City Academy, the following four weeks of workshops were led by sixth formers directly in the primary schools. The sessions focused on natural shapes to introduce different techniques, ranging from watercolour painting to ceramic modelling. The final sessions saw the Primary pupils returning to CCA to enjoy hand-building their fabulous clay designs using slabbing or pinch pot techniques. The students' masterpieces were left to dry thoroughly before being fired. Students will have a chance to paint their pieces using different glazes in future sessions.

The project also provided the Capital 6 Art Leaders with an opportunity to gain work experience in Arts Education, developing their leadership, time-management and communication skills - invaluable in today’s jobs market, whether within the arts or beyond.

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