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15 March 2024

Holland Park Student Bella Wins Student Art Competition and Trip to Tokyo

Catgeories : Group news Enrichment

This week, United Learning crowned Bella, a Year 11 student at Holland Park School, the winner of this year's International Art Competition.

Open to students aged 15 – 18 across the Group, the International Art Competition challenges students to create an original artwork to be submitted and ultimately judged by a panel of senior leaders as well as a professional artist. Bella, as well as the three runners up, will have her work displayed at the International High School Arts Festival in Tokyo and will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to Japan to see her work, “Self Portrait in a School Uniform”, in the exhibition.  

The first round of voting took place on social media in February. 43 submissions were posted on Instagram and Facebook, gaining a total of over 12,000 likes between them. Likes were combined with votes from United Learning art teachers to select the top 11 who would proceed to the next round.

Following this, the students ranked in the top eleven had their pieces displayed at the Group’s annual leadership conference in Manchester. Here, a final round of voting took place as Head Teachers and Chairs of Governors selected their favourite pieces. The judges were also aided by professional artist Michelle Taube (@_MichelleTaube) who provided her expert insights.

The runners up were:

  • Eva from Ashford school with their piece entitled “My Friend Sage”
  • Marcel from Swindon Academy with their piece entitled “Close-Distant Memory”
  • Sydney from Swindon Academy with their piece entitled “Unsteady Emotions”

Speaking about Bella’s piece, professional artist Michelle Taube said:

“This painting is fantastic and definitely has a professional feel. I can see the clear links to Lucian Freud and feel as though the sitter is looking into my soul. Beautiful application of paint, love the mark making on the hair. Composition is well considered, as is the limited use of colour.”

Ben Antell, Director of Secondary Academies at United Learning, said:

“The art competition, now in its 15th year, is always a highlight of our calendar and this year our students yet again demonstrated their extraordinary talents and creative flair. It was, as ever, a delight to be involved in and the panel of judges were highly impressed by the standard of entries.

“Congratulations to Bella, Eva, Marcel and Sydney for creating such brilliant pieces of art and well done also to all students who took part in this year’s competition. Looking to the future, we very much look forward to giving students further opportunities to develop their creativity and artistic talents, as part of our commitment to providing an Education with Character.”

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