The Art Department here at Brampton College promotes the development and practice of skills and develops students’ visual awareness and conceptual thinking, in a world that is increasingly dominated by visual information. There is an emphasis on experimentation, and students are encouraged to work in a dynamic and energetic way, as well as with sensitivity and care.
The skills achieved through studying A level Art are wide ranging. Students learn to think creatively, take risks with their work and ideas, be ambitious, playful and curious about the world. Students learn to reflect, research, analyse along with learning to work independently and manage time efficiently. These skills are applicable for any university course and area of life. Each year a number of students wishing to pursue art beyond their A level apply for an Art Foundation Course which provides a stepping stone to a range of other creative degree courses. The creative industries are one of the fastest growing in the UK and this is reflected in the broad range of creative courses available at university. Architecture is also a popular choice for art students. For both of these applications, students will be required to present a portfolio of both A level work and their own independent work beyond the course, the preparation of which takes place in college.
Art and Design at Brampton College develops the creative skills and interests of all our students. Each year a number of students go on to pursue creative careers in further or higher education, with students regularly gaining places at art schools both in the UK and abroad. The Art and Design A level is an academic course as well as a practical, creative qualification. Creative abilities are valued across all professions, and the A level allows students to apply for any course at university, not just in the arts. Each year there is an art trip abroad which gives students the opportunity to experience a wealth of art and culture first hand; destinations have included New York, Venice and Berlin. We also visit galleries closer to home in London.
The specification in Art and Design at Brampton College offers the AQA Fine Art course in which candidates are introduced to a wide variety of techniques such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, textiles and mixed media. Across both years, students produce two units of work. For each unit of work candidates are required to produce a body of supporting work, consisting primarily of a sketchbook along with a final outcome.
During the first year of the course, students are introduced to an integrated practical, critical and theoretical programme of study. Students explore a wide range of media and processes. Learning is developed through group workshops, practical demonstrations and individual tutorials, supported by the use of sketchbooks, gallery visits and other appropriate support and research materials.
The second year of the course is designed to build on the broad experiences of the first, allowing for greater focus and depth of study. Students continue with their practical studio-based work and are required to work more independently on their self-directed coursework unit. The Personal Investigation (coursework unit) – a highly developed personal project – is the focus for the first part of the second year. Here students also have the opportunity to demonstrate their analytical and research skills through an in-depth written component integrated within the practical unit.
Upon completion of the coursework unit, students are given the opportunity to exhibit their work in a gallery space. In previous years, we have exhibited at 5th Base Gallery in Shoreditch. Last year students exhibited in the college which was also a huge success. This is a great opportunity for students to learn how to curate and present their work and encourages students to think ambitiously in terms of the size and scale of what they can produce.
At the end of both the first and second years there are controlled tests where the student demonstrates their progress during the course. Examinations at the end of the first year are internal assessments, unless the student chooses not to progress to A level, in which case they are entered into the public exam for an AS Level qualification. At the end of the second year there is a 15 hour practical exam to conclude the exam unit.
The department supports visiting artists and teachers and is keen to make connections with other schools. In past years recent graduates from the Royal Academy Schools visited the department to offer one to one tutorials with students. This gave students real contact with young emerging artists and enabled them to gain an insight into studying at art school. We also annually participate in the Royal Academy Outreach Programme which consists of a one day life drawing workshop, allowing students to work from the unclothed figure in a challenging and diverse way.
Hannah teaches on all the art courses and is a practising artist. She studied Fine Art at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art and Glasgow School of Art. Hannah was also chosen to be included in ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’, a publication from Thames & Hudson. 100 Painters of Tomorrow was the result of a major new project to find the 100 most exciting, up-and-coming painters at work today. Hannah has been selected from more than 4,000 entrants, coming from over 30 countries.
Adam studied Fine Art at both the Royal College of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art before completing a PGCE to begin teaching. He has exhibited in New Contemporaries and the Jerwood Drawing Prize and specialises in painting and drawing.
Students have been awarded places at top University art departments including the prestigious University of the Arts colleges – Chelsea, Central Saint Martins and The London College of Fashion. Students have also gained places further afield at The School of visual Arts and Parsons School of Design in New York.
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