Last weekend was the annual Monkton Wyld life drawing weekend (as opposed to the Monkton wildlife drawing weekend, which is something entirely different). We took a minibus of 18 students to the wonderful Monkton Wyld Court near Lyme Regis in Dorset for an intensive drawing experience. We have run this event annually now for nearly a quarter of a century, and it is always an excellent weekend. This year’s group had a great time, produced mountains of work and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere - students love Monkton, which is an alternative adult education centre run by a small community who grow most of their own organic food, as well as running a small farm, with fresh eggs, cheese and milk. The weekend is tutored by artist Dave Bernson, who was long ago taught by Cecil Collins, who was himself influenced by William Blake. The drawing is akin to meditation, with Dave encouraging students to work quickly, using both hands at the same time, using fluid media such as sanguine, Chinese ink, quills, reed pens and charcoal - all very earthy materials. The model will pose for a maximum of five minutes, so over many poses and many hours of drawing students are encouraged to let go of any expectation of outcome, and live simply in the act of drawing, the tactile nature of the materials, and the experience of drawing from life - looking for the essential energy in each pose.
Also this week we travelled to London to mount an exhibition of work from last year’s students alongside other schools from the Society of Heads. The exhibition was in Ealing Town Hall, a magnificent building in the centre of Ealing. Sidcot was represented by work from Una Wood, Cassandra Tong, Karena Dickie and Camilla Dolman.
Coming up on Tuesday of next week is the Lower Fourth Art trip to the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff – students should already have bought a letter home about this, but if you are the parent of a student in Year 8, and this comes as a surprise - please ask them!
Head of Creative Art