ST ANNES CATHOLIC SCHOOL – Southampton City Art Gallery

Artwork created by pupils from


16 December 2023 – 2 March 2024


Year 9 have been building upon their work in year 8 on proportion and applied their knowledge to portraiture. The project began with drawing faces and features including a tonal pencil drawing replication of Escher’s ‘Eye’. To aid their drawing skills they worked from the charcoal portraits by Julian Grater when we visited the Arctic Mirage exhibition.

Pupils then explored the work and the ideas of the Surrealists and how their work responded to the psychoanalytical theories of Sigmund Freud. Pupils experimented with automatism and sub-conscious mechanisms when making art such as automatic poetry, decalcomania, frottage and even played the parlour game ‘Exquisite Corpse’ which generated delightful and humorous results.

Pupils then began to look more closely at the origins of some of these techniques and explored the work of Dada artist Hannah Hoch and experimented with juxtaposition using collage and photomontage.

Pupils were then asked to create a Surreal portrait using the knowledge gained through the experiments and techniques learned. The outcomes demonstrated great diversity of creativity and technical approaches to making art. The confidence and willingness to take creative risks was as a result of their understanding and connection with the work of Dada and the Surrealists.


Year 8 have been learning about the figure in art and how to apply understanding of proportion to their own drawings. They enjoyed a visit to Southampton City Art Gallery as a part of the project, to look closely at Auguste Rodin’s ‘Eve’ and Antony Gormley’s ‘Diver’, exploring at first-hand how the figure has been depicted in sculptural forms. Pupils also investigated the work of sculptor Henry Moore and experimented further with handling media and made drawings of Moore’s work using wax resist, watercolours and pen and ink.

Pupils were asked to consider how the figure was being depicted in the work of these artists and what stories were being told.

The project culminated in the creation of papier mâché maquettes in which pupils developed ideas around how the female form has been represented in western art history. They were asked to create a sculpture that conveyed their ideas about how the female form should be depicted in art through the eyes of young female artists. The results were astounding, and pupils were keen to depict women’s capabilities in sports and athleticism, motherhood, challenging cultural and feminine stereotypes and embracing emotional vulnerability.  Pupils demonstrated great maturity and insight in their thinking and were able to realise their ideas with careful and skilful handling of papier mâché.

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