Emotional ride for young artists

Richmond School students Madison Cutler, 13, left, and Martha Templeton, 14, check out their first exhibition at Richmond Station. (S)
Richmond School students Madison Cutler, 13, left, and Martha Templeton, 14, check out their first exhibition at Richmond Station. (S)

An arts project proved to be an emotional rollercoaster for students who were asked to create and destroy their work to reach their final contemporary conclusion.

Year 9 students were chosen to work with Dales artist Rachel Anthill as part of the Swaledale Festival of music, art and walking.

The process involved completing a host of artistic exercises, such as painting with a ruler. But at each stage the students had to rip up their work before sticking it onto a canvas.

Just when they thought they had finished by sticking the pieces onto a huge graph paper map of Yorkshire, they were then asked by Rachel to paint over the top with white emulsion.

“To be honest we all felt quite angry because we had spent hours on the panels,” said Madison Cutler, 13, who would like to be a photographer or an artist one day.

“But then as we sanded away the paint it revealed these amazing contemporary images, a bit like digital pixels. It was all very emotional.”

Joining Madison on the project were Martha Templeton, Felicity Clarke, Rosie Collier-Gent, Emily Davis, Tegan Morris, Kitten Burrows-Egan, Sam Rowell, Sam Brown, Libby Richardson, Katie Williams, Shauna Crosby Lawson, Ebony Dodds, Ben Metcalfe, Chitji Singh and Jerusha Pealing.

The end result of more than 25 hours work is being displayed for two weeks at Richmond Station; 16 panels entitled Emotional Paint, influenced by the work of celebrated artists Mark Bradford, St-Pierr Mathieu and Piet Mondrian.

Art teacher Penny Thompson said: “We all feel really proud to be invited to be part of the prestigious Swaledale Festival and have been especially excited this year to involve younger students in Year 9.

“We are delighted with our students’ creative approach to working on a project with a professional artist. They have produced some modern and challenging responses to the theme and the exhibition is testament to their talent and creativity.”

Once the exhibition closes the work will be mounted and put on permanent display at Richmond School and Sixth Form College.