The work of a group of Rivers students has been published in the digital art collection, The Co 19 Project, set up to showcase stories, videos, letters, and images from around the world in unprecedented times.

Their contributions are now being presented alongside the work of professional artists, and was warmly welcomed with excitement by the organisation.

Since the United Kingdom has been on lockdown, many people across the country have tapped into their creative outlets to occupy themselves, ranging from drawing rainbow pictures for the NHS, to huge DIY projects.

While many are undertaking these projects to pass the time, for art students at Rivers Academy West London, it serves as vital practice in soft skills that are required for their future careers in creative industries.

The group of Year 10 students were briefed by Art and Photography teacher, Rosie Back, to create a piece of art that documents their thoughts and feelings during the lockdown.

Rosie explained: “It is a great opportunity for the students to gain some experience in working with an open call, which, if they are planning on pursuing a creative career, will be ideal experience for networking, building relationships and working professionally as an artist.

“An open call is something that art groups, galleries or theatres hold where a brief is given, and artists can participate and submit entries for the project.”

During her time studying Fine Art at university, Rosie became accustomed to submitting entries for open calls and the unique experience of networking and professional development in the creative sector, and wanted to give her students the same skillset at an earlier age.

The brief given to the Year 10 students was deliberately open-ended, so that the students could interpret it in any way they wished, allowing them to fully harness their own creativity; and Miss Back was pleasantly surprised with the ideas!

“When I set the project, I had an idea in my head of what I wanted, or expected, it to look like, but that was just based on how I interpreted the brief set by The Co 19 Project.

“The work I got back, however, was actually so much better than what I expected! It was so inspiring to see the different ways that individuals interpret things.

“Given that they do not currently have access to the academy’s facilities and resources, it was fascinating to see the resourcefulness of our Key Stage 4 students, with one pupil even using her makeup to create art on paper” she added.

The submissions to the global art collaboration follows an ongoing journal project set by the Art department whilst the academy has been closed to most students.

Rosie said: “The journal project has allowed the students to take a more proactive and independent approach to their learning.

“While in school, some students would gravitate straight to painting in watercolour because it is the easy choice. At home, they may not have option.

“So the journal project has encouraged them to understand the situation better, whilst also taking the time to figure out what they like, and how they can use what they have to fit the brief, which is an essential skill for working as an artist professionally.”

gabija, year 10:

Harry, Year 12:


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