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Hartismere School students have lockdown art exhibited at The Bank Arts Centre in Eye

School students have had their lockdown drawings, paintings, and photography showcased at a nearby arts centre.

During lockdown, more than 50 A-level and GCSE pupils at Hartismere School, in Eye, used their time to create their own artwork reflecting their experiences during the turbulent time.

Oil paintings, collages, and pencil drawings depicted everything from social isolation to the Black Lives Matter protests.

Hartismere students show off their artwork. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography
Hartismere students show off their artwork. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography

As part of an exhibition titled “Art in Isolation”, more than 70 pieces of work – produced by around 55 pupils and even half-a-dozen teachers – have adorned the walls of The Bank Arts Centre, in Castle Street.

Caroline Aldous-Goodge, who is an art teacher at Hartismere School, said the exhibition came as a much-needed reward for the students, who have had much of their academic lives severely disrupted by the pandemic.

She said: “We are really pleased with how it’s gone and it’s good for them to be able to show their work, especially for the Year 11s, who have missed their proms and GCSEs, which has been really difficult for them.”

Mrs Aldous-Goodge, who has worked at the school for the past 11 years, added that giving the students creative output was crucial during such a chaotic year.

“I think a lot of students during the lockdown took a lot of comfort in doing creative activities,” she said.

“It gave them an outlet and took them away from the screens.

“They needed to get away from that, and it’s proven to be a really good way for them to express their feelings.”

The recent project comes only weeks after the Bank Art Centre’s new theatre director, Andy Deane, pledged to work closely alongside the local community as the town pulls itself through the pandemic.

Following his appointment this month, the 39-year-old said: “We are trying to engage with the local community – the aim is to make The Bank a community and creative hub.

“It’s important we are singing from the same hymn sheet.

“It’s really a time of unique challenges, but also a time for unique opportunities.

“We are going to need new ways of expressing ourselves and are trying to make it clear that the arts are for everybody – we are trying to break down those barriers of expectation.”

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