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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Dunhurst brings Norse myths to Steep stage

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Pupils at Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst brought the Norse myths to life last week in a dynamic and compelling refashioning of the ancient stories for the stage. Burning Ice, Biting Flame told the story of how the Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil (the Great Ash Tree of Norse cosmology) are tricked into self-destruction by the god Loki. Desiring revenge for the maltreatment of his hideous family, Loki creates havoc and plays each world off against the other which culminates in Ragnarok – the end of the world.

Pupils in Blocks 1 and 2 (year 7 & 8) worked incredibly hard to bring this production to the stage with everyone working over the weekend to prepare for the final performances. They were set to work acting, rehearsing with the band, prop making, and organising back stage – the pupils were involved in every aspect of the production. They also had free reign to develop their on stage characters and add in lines they thought would work.

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Head of Drama at Dunhurst Simon Kingsley-Pallant, who wrote the play, said: “Following on from the success of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we wanted to do something a little different and to make it more unusual. The stories are very potent, full of vitality and adventure. And really, they should be much better known than they are.  Essentially the gods are a highly dysfunctional extended family, always bickering and competing with one another, sometimes with lethal results, and the cast thoroughly enjoyed playing these powerful yet flawed beings.”

With a beautifully created set by Susan Macfarlane, Head of Art at Dunhurst, depicting the Nine Worlds, the production was soundscaped by Ben Harlan and the band. Much of the music was improvised with voice, harp, drums, synths, bottles, cans, and crackling plastic to create some wonderful sound effects.  Rosie Nash choreographed the dances, two of which were epic – the Creation of Yggdrasil and the Binding of Loki, all contributing to a memorable and enthralling production.

*Photos by John-Paul Bland; to view the full gallery on the photographer’s site, click here and enter the password which can be found in your emailed version of the Saturday Bulletin 1 October 2016. Any purchase of image downloads from this gallery will benefit the John Badley Foundation which offers financial support through bursaries, giving more young people a chance to benefit from the transformational opportunity a Bedales education can provide.