New College students take part in national Make Art Not War arts project

By Ben Fitzgerald - 18 December 2018

CommunityCollege & Higher EducationArts and Culture

Students from New College Swindon will have the opportunity to take part in the Make Art Not War programme, designed for young people across the country. The programme forms part of the World War 1 centenary art commissions project and New College has been named as one of the ten ‘Leadership Colleges’ to take part.

14-18 NOW is the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. Working with arts and heritage partners all across the UK, they have commissioned new artworks from 420 contemporary artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers and performers, inspired by the period 1914-18. 

Contemporary artist, Bob and Roberta Smith is leading the Make Art Not War project and invites students to make new work in response to the question, ‘what does peace mean to you?’ As part of the project, New College will also work with appointed artist, Katie Ackrill. Katie was a former New College student herself and now is now a freelance curator and art journalist. 

Karen Pau, Art Projects Coordinator said: “This is a fantastic project and opportunity for our students. They will be fully involved in an amazing arts experience, and produce pieces that connect back to the First World War. Working alongside appointed artist Katie Ackrill, they have already started the research stage, which has involved a visit to the Wiltshire Soldiers Evening at Devizes Museum, as well as a film evening, studying footage of soldiers from 1908-1939.”

Textiles students explored the Cicatrix exhibition as a starting point for their projects. They each found inspiration for their projects from the artists, including Sophie Cape, Caro Williams and Henny Burnett. Textiles student Meg Raine is in the early stages of her project, but has taken inspiration from Cicatrix exhibition artist, Susan Francis. 

Meg said: “It’s an amazing project to be involved in – the whole process of research and textiles practices has been so exciting and eye-opening. It’s been a great opportunity to be involved in, using art as a means of remembrance of Wiltshire’s part in the First World War, honouring landscapes and people alike. The involvement with the Cicatrix artists has been really inspirational in influencing my project ideas.”

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