Upper School Choice - chess

Art & Critical and Contextual Studies in Art and Design (CCS) at KAS

4th June 24

Before half term, the Art and DT Departments held a fantastic exhibition for students in Sixth Form and Years 10-11 to showcase their work.

The exhibition comprised a variety of different medias that the students have been working hard on for many weeks, from blacksmithing to ceramics, jewellery to clothing, there was plenty to see. It was brilliant to see so many parents, staff and students attend the exhibition, with those showcasing having ample opportunity to answer questions and take well-deserved pride in their work.

Year 12 student, Roxana, created her piece from a multitude of art forms, including sewing, lino prints and ceramics. When asked about her piece, she said: “There’s a lot of use of text and I like combining text with visuals, mixing ways to tell stories. I like to focus on Middle Eastern art and my Iranian heritage and, with Middle Eastern art in general, there’s a lot of use of text. I’m really drawn to it and I think it’s a beautiful thing.”

Roxana, also known as Roxy, spoke of her enjoyment of doing Art at KAS, commenting: “With this course, the teachers wanted to push me out of my comfort zone and at first, I wasn’t sure as it wasn’t what I was used to. But it’s been so freeing to not put yourself in one box. Having them believe that I was able to do this sort of thing and believe in myself was really nice and it felt like a really nice, safe space.” She also added: “The Art department are lovely, supportive and encouraging. What really stands out about them is the fact that they see past what you think you’re able to do and encourage you to look towards the opposite of what you usually do. I think the fact that they can see beyond what you think you are able to do is really empowering and that type of teaching and mentality is what art is all about – pushing boundaries of what we think and what other people think we can do through telling these stories through visual stories.”


In the exhibition, Ruby, a student in Year 13, had two different pieces on display as she does Art and Critical and Contextual Studies in Art and Design (CCS) for two of her three A level subjects. Ruby plans to take a gap year, gaining experience in the art industry before applying to Manchester and Leeds.

When asked about CCS, Ruby said: ” I like how much they put emphasis on you to go into context and critical ideas and then present a piece of work at the end of it, and I think that gives you more freedom to experiment. It gives you more space to explore academic subjects and then create responses from what you’ve learnt and researched.” She also added: “In CCS, you have more time to look at your work and analyse it and look into different artists. You can take time to review and reflect, look at the history your art might be influenced by. With Art, you’re constantly making and developing and looking into different artists.”

Ruby further commented that “[t]aking Art and CCS together is similar to taking a foundation course; it’s like the more you revise for something, the better you get at it. You can make your work in the subjects as similar or different as you like. For example, with my Art work, it was all about creating this essence of New York and the overwhelming sense of it and streets; then my CCS piece is about my family history and trying to conserve memories.”







There were also two displays by Emer, who is in Year 13 and studying Art and Design and Technology as two of her A level subjects. When asked about her Art projects, Emer explained that “[f]or my one project, you had to choose a word from a set list. I chose science, and then biology, because I’m interested in anatomy and women’s anatomy because it’s more relatable to me. The second project, a large portrait, was for a project with the theme ‘overlooked’.” She added: “With the ‘overlooked’ project, Will helped me as I had an art block. He helped me find an artist I really liked and was inspired by, as well as introducing me to technique that he used himself.”

It was brilliant to hear Emer also speak about her progression as an artist, and the support she received from her teachers. She said: “I love art and I really enjoy doing art at KAS. Where my art has come, from Year 12 when I joined, to now, is a lot more free. I’ve been more open to trying different things and I’ve grown a lot as an artist with the help of my teachers.” After being asked why she loved art, she replied: “Doing Art gives you the opportunity to try lots of things and improve on your skills. There’s so many things to try and you can push your art in whatever direction you want to.”







Overall, it has been another successful exhibition for the three subjects and, it’s safe to say, all attendees marvelled at the amazing work on show. Well done to all who participated!

If you want to find out more about any of the subjects, take a look on our A level Courses page.

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