We were delighted to welcome A Level Art students from Radley College to the Creative Arts Faculty at Downe House for our second Art collaboration

3 November 2022

The Creative Arts Faculty were delighted to welcome A Level Art students from Radley College to Downe House for our second collaboration. The workshop involved our Lower Sixth students from Art. Textiles and 3D Design. The focus for the day was the work of Cornish artist, Anthony Frost.

The session was kicked off by two of our Upper Sixth Art students who introduced the work of Frost with a PowerPoint presentation, and Mrs Mortimer brought in five small pieces of work by the artist, which the students were able to pass around.

Frost begins each work of art by adhering textures to a support, which could include anything from sail cloth to fruit netting, or even a piece of shoelace. When the adhesive is dry, he begins to apply vibrant acrylic paint in a spontaneous abstract manner while responding to the music that he is listening to. Frost claims the musicians have inspired his work far more than fine artists and often the title of his paintings comes from the music that he is listening to during their creation.

Following the introductory talk, our Downe House Textiles pupils demonstrated the application of materials to canvas to replicate the techniques employed by Frost. The workshop participants then began to work on their own pieces while some of the music that has inspired Frost was played on speakers. This generated a productive flurry of activity, and within an hour, everyone had completed the first stage of their canvas pieces.

At break time the Downe House and Radley pupils had the opportunity to admire each other’s sketchbooks. This was a fascinating and valuable opportunity, which generated much discussion. After break, Downe House Art pupils demonstrated the process of creating a second piece of work inspired by Frost; a composition made from colourful glass.

We provided a broad range of glass to work with, which students were able to cut to size and arrange on a clear tile. This was then fused in the Art Department glass kiln. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experiment with this new and unfamiliar technique.

After lunch, it was time to return to the canvases, and following a final demonstration, everyone set about applying acrylic paint to their textured pieces in a spontaneous manner. At the end of the day, we stood back and admired everything that had been produced and celebrated the fantastic way in which the participants had embraced the day and worked together.

“The boys have been telling their friends about the work they created, and they were particularly impressed by working with glass collages. Your girls also made us most welcome and their wonderful introduction and instructions for each project were delivered very professionally.” – Ruth Tufnell, Director of Art at Radley College

We would like to thank Ruth Tufnell, Tom Ryder, and their wonderful students for joining us at Downe House, and discussions have already begun for our next creative collaboration!

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