Pupils inspired by Edward Thomas

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The centenary of the death of poet, Edward Thomas, who was killed in France at the Battle of Arras on April 9, 1917 is being marked by Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst and Bedales Pre-prep, Dunannie.

Exhibitions showcasing pupils’ work and inspired by the poet’s life, are being held from 8-22 May at various locations throughout Petersfield.

25-04-2017 114717Collaboration between the two schools and departments within the schools has been key with art, ceramics and poetry being produced.

The Petersfield Museum and Petersfield Library will house poetry from Block 1 (Year 7, ages 11-12) – written responses to Thomas’ own works, as well as paintings, prints and ceramic tiles inspired by his words and the landscape he knew so well. The Fork Handles Kitchen will showcase work from the departments of Textiles and Outdoor Work as well as sculpture.

Bedales Pre-prep, Dunannie will be exhibiting their work at One Tree Books. Teacher of Art at Dunannie, Jacqui Uttley said: “We will be hanging a selection of textured panels inspired by the words of Thomas’ poem The Lane.  The children have really enjoyed working together to create colourful, country scenes using a variety of crafts.”

IMG_2609Head of Art at Dunhurst, Susan McFarlane said: “As a school community, we are very lucky to have such talented artists and writers; pupils from age 3 up to 12 have contributed and it is an amazing opportunity to showcase their work. Each pupil has worked hard to really connect with the work of Edward Thomas and we’d encourage visitors to the town to come and have a look. ‘Art in shops’ is a relatively new phenomenon, and really helps create a sense of community and identity. I would like to invite shops and schools to help make this an annual exhibition in Petersfield.”

Pupils are hoping for a good turn-out to view their work, Eliza, 12 said “I’m really excited to see my work, it’s great to have an exhibition in Petersfield. I hope lots of people go and see it”

Find out more about ‘Art in Shops’ by contacting Susan McFarlane: smcfarlane@bedales.org.uk

There is a more permanent local commemoration to Edward Thomas, who lived in Steep before enlisting in the Army, at The Poet’s Stone on the hillside at Ashford Hangers.

View a sample of art from Dunhurst, below.

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Halloween inspires young musicians

Around fifty of our young string players from Dunannie and Dunhurst joined forces to produce a wonderfully creative and chilling Halloween inspired piece of music. Around 15 Dunannie violinists  sent shivers down our spines as they used their instruments to make ghoulishly realistic sounds of chattering teeth and skeleton bones. Dunhurst’s Maisy R and Hector W quickly picked up the melodious tunes of the main refrain, Maisy first on violin and then echoed by Hector on cello. Pupils plucked, scraped and manipulated the strings to make a wide variety of sounds to imitate the atmosphere of Halloween.

Ben Harlan, our Director of Music was ably supported by the peripatetic experts to ensure that all our young musicians were given tips on the best techniques to use, strong bow action and nifty finger work. We were all delighted to see the pupils’ confidence grow as the session progressed. The level of the pupils’ concentration was impressive as they looked to Ben for timing, expression and the right moment to bring the music to a disturbingly sudden halt. We hope very much to have more of these experiences for our pupils as there was clearly a great benefit for our youngest pupils to work alongside older and more experienced musicians. The Dunhurst pupils clearly enjoyed playing with the Dunannians and we look to bring the very best of Bedales student musical talent to these events in the future.

Some of Bedales’ music students are meeting with Dunhurst pupils to give our musicians inspiring additional music sessions. These highly talented Bedalian musicians (some now playing well beyond grade 8) have an innate ability to share their love of music and their skills with their chosen instrument. Over 90% of our Dunhurst pupils play a musical instrument and our orchestras and ensembles continue to grow in number – We can’t wait for the next end of term concert!

By Jane Grubb, Head of Bedales Prep, Dunhurst