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Stratford Girls' Grammar School Stratford-Upon-Avon
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Year 12 Art & Drama Collaboration

In our latest blog, we look at some of the recent work by Year 12 Art and Drama students who have been collaborating on the theme of ‘Disrupting the Narrative’.

‘Disrupting the Narrative’ is topical and challenging subject matter and we asked students to consider the ethics and implications of diverse areas such as fast fashion, deforestation, climate change, refugee crisis, identity and body image, genetic modification and space travel.

Art students have produced individual installations which have been exhibited on the centre lawn and foyer for the past week. Some examples of their fantastic and thought-provoking work can be seen below.   

 

Student Elise Jenkins, explains, “In art, we decided that to disrupt the narrative we needed to place our work in a spot where it would definitely be seen.  Inspired by the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, where a newly commissioned sculpture is placed every few years, our aim was to create unexpected and unconventional sculptures that get your attention while you’re just walking across school.

Some of the pieces are eye-catching and shocking, such as the huge axe severing the roots of a real tree, or the packaged-up bodies laid on the grass, while others are quieter and more subtle, such as the ice that melted away in mere hours over a fragile structure, or the individually labelled and priced boxes of personal items. Whether big or small, loud or quiet, the sculptures all have an important message to tell and each take a different route to do so, but by positioning them in the centre lawn it guarantees that people will see them, unlike previous years’ editions of this project where viewers had to choose to go and see the art in an enclosed room. By putting our pieces in front of the whole school, we highlight how important it is that everybody, whoever they are, wherever they are, listens to the issues of the present day.

It’s only by amplifying our messages so that everybody can hear them that we can begin to make the changes we want to see in the world, and we hope that the students and staff will take this chance to listen to what our sculptures are saying while they’re on display.”

Drama students have also been working collaboratively on two performances which were shown in the main hall throughout last week, with ‘Invitation only’ live performances to bubble groups. You can preview one of these performances here:

 

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Emily O’Riley is a current Year 12 student at SGGS and has been working on her own costume as part of this initiative. “Using the theme of disrupting the narrative, my aim with my costume was to rebuke against the idea that our clothes are made without consequence; representing the ‘life behind the production line’. The fashion industry is environmentally destructive and exploitative, specifically of vulnerable women, yet is rarely held responsible for its detrimental impact.

I sought to reflect elements of the life of our chosen garment maker ‘Arifa’, a real woman from the verbatim we used to construct the piece. The back of the jacket was stitched with motifs to portray the difficulties of her life, intending to provoke an empathetic response to her struggles, that in turn criticises capitalist exploitation of garment workers. Statistics on the harmful aspects of the garment industry, specifically towards women, adorned the jacket to provoke a critical response to disturbing truths of this largely unaccountable industry.

For consumers it is easy to believe the products we buy are made by machines; but we must confront the reality of the exploitative industries we perhaps unintentionally support. The intent of our piece was not to shame, but to question. The more consumers are aware of this issue and the more they empathise to those who are harmed because of it; the better we can alter our actions to make a positive difference: disrupting the narrative of ignorance that consumer culture promotes.”

 

 

 

Published on 01st December 20