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Art is great!

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Oreet Ashery

The Art is great! exhibition celebrates an unique visual arts partnership between staff and students from Camden, Haringey and Islington pupil support and referral units, and Byam Shaw School of Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

The project was generously funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, with the intention of developing skills and confidence among both students and staff at the units, and to encourage further self-initiated work by PRU units with artists for students outside mainstream provision.

Artists Oreet Ashery, Janey Hagger and Stephen Wilson led a painting project in 2005, working with KS3 and KS4 students. Selected students returned in 2006 to work with Oreet Ashery and Douglas Ebbage on an animation project, developing characters and making individual and group animations. Their work is fresh and direct, with an immediate relevance to their experience of contemporary North London life and to their sense of self as teenagers.

The art-work made by the 19 students involved in the project was exhibited to a wider public in July 2008, in Byam Shaw’s Concourse Gallery, and included large paintings on board, short individual and group animations, and preparatory works on paper.

The exhibition also included smaller mixed-media works on card made during 2007–2008 by year 10 GCSE students at Mount Carmel RC Technology College for Girls, Islington London N19, inspired by the Art is great! workbook. These were exhibited in the Drawing Studio, alongside the original project participants’ work.

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