Artist returns to Priory to deliver workshops
6 December 2022
Ten years ago Conlons Construction came to Priory to work on the old G corridor, transforming the Humanities Department and creating the Auditorio. Part of the construction site were the peripheral 60 hoarding boards, keeping construction and pupils safely apart. During this period, which coincided with the school's 60th anniversary, it was decided that each board represent a year in the life of the school and different stakeholders in the school would plan and paint a board, with a winning prize for the best awarded.
Conlons were given a board and drew 1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth's Coronation and the first year of the school. In an attempt to win the prize, Conlons decided to commission local artist Stephen Astbury to paint a portrait of the Queen. Stephen's painting is now on permanent display in the Humanities building for all to admire.
Lead Teacher of Art & Design, Mrs Hopes, said, "Stephen recently contacted the school and offered to work with pupils in a watercolour workshop and discuss being an artist as a career."
A group of Year 9 pupils have attended two, two-hour workshops this week where they have learnt a number of skills. Pupils have revisited Year 7 learning of colour mixing and painting skills. They have learnt how to create washes and how to apply these to copies of Stephen's work. Themes including nature, landscapes and light have been covered.
Mrs Hopes continued, "I was delighted to accept the workshop offer as it provides opportunities that wouldn't normally be available to them. Learning skills from a professional artist is worthwhile and provides context. I am hoping that the Q&A session with Stephen regarding his career has provided clarity for pupils wishing to proceed into the same creative field. Stephen also asked pupils to bring examples of their own work to the second session, where he discussed their work and provided expert feedback and direction."
Pupils have thoroughly enjoyed the workshops.