Last week, Year 12 pupil Sophia from Kettering Buccleuch Academy was announced as winner of United Learning’s Group Art Competition for 2018.
As part of the International High School Art Festival, Sophia and her family will be flying to Japan this summer to represent the UK at the awards ceremony in Tokyo. There, her piece ‘Bond in Bound’, as well as four runner-up pieces, will be displayed alongside pieces from other young people across the world.
Each year, across its academies and independent schools, United Learning runs the art competition for students between 15 and 18 years of age. This year, over 25 students from 12 United Learning schools submitted pieces in the hopes of representing the Group and the UK at the international festival this summer and the result was an impressive array of artwork using a range of media and inspirations.
Acclaimed artist Philip Court was invited by United Learning to judge submissions, pick his favourites and feedback to students. His vote counted for 80% of the final total, whilst the final 20% was down to a public Facebook vote.
Sophia’s winning artwork ‘Bond in Bound’ is a self-portrait created in mixed media of graphite and coloured pencils. It portrays a strong connection between her and her beloved dog Fern and how she influences Sophia.
The second place prize was awarded to Ella, from Guildford High School, for her work ‘Face in Treacle’. Judge Philip Court praised the “complex” piece for its intensity and craft.
Runners-up for this year’s competition were Lucy from Midhurst Rother College for her piece ‘Unexpected Order’, Tianyu from Ashford School for ‘Study of Emotions’ and Elizabeth from Surbiton High School for her work entitled ‘Ellen’.
Artist and competition judge Philip Court said:
“I had a fantastic time judging the students’ artwork and was thoroughly impressed by both the quality of the work and the range of techniques on display.
“All the shortlisted pieces of art showed tremendous promise and creativity but Sophia’s piece really stood out for its impressive use of technique and its sense of balance and discord. The more you look at it the more you see.”
Sophia, United Learning’s winner for 2018, said:
“I’m astounded and I didn’t expect to win. I’m really grateful to the art department at KBA for all their help and support. None of this would be possible without them. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to visit Japan.”
Submissions for this year’s competition came from students at Ashford School, Barnsley Academy, Guildford High School, Kettering Buccleuch Academy, Lambeth Academy, Midhurst Rother College, Lincoln Minster School, Paddington Academy, Richard Rose Central Academy, Shoreham Academy, Surbiton High School and Walthamstow Academy.