Pewsey Vale School art students' exhibition at the Houses of ParliamentAt the invitation of Claire Perry MP, six Year 11 GCSE art students at Pewsey Vale School have held a week-long exhibition this month in the Upper Waiting Hall of the Houses of Parliament. The school won in a ballot for use of the exhibition space.
The exhibition also gave students, their parents and members of staff and governors the opportunity to visit Parliament where they watched Mrs Perry speaking in the Commons, had a special tour of the buildings and then attended the opening of their exhibition.
Mrs Perry was very impressed with the work on show: "The artwork is absolutely brilliant and I know that it has been very much enjoyed by MPs and Peers - it's the first time a school from the Devizes Constituency has had an exhibition in Parliament which is a wonderful accolade for PVS!”
The students' work looked stunning amid the Victorian Gothic of the Houses of Parliament - which have their own permanent exhibition of very Victorian art on their walls.
Mrs Nina Slater is the school's Head of Art: "I am very proud of exhibiting the students' work, as they have shown a huge amount of commitment to the subject and in developing their skills to a high level."
"This exhibition has also given them a huge amount of confidence in exhibiting their artwork in public, and to pursue an Art or Design based A-Level course."
We asked how the students reacted to having their work shown in such august surroundings:
"I thought it was a great experience that we will remember for a long time. It was exciting to see our pieces displayed in such a high-profile building and seeing all of the other historic paintings around Parliament was great inspiration for my classwork." (Libby W)
"We looked around some amazing rooms - the architecture was astonishing. Before we met Claire Perry we went up to the room with our artwork inside. Seeing all of it there felt so surreal - almost unbelievable. Where it was situated meant lots of people walked through and saw our art. We are all very happy about that. (Eveney C)
"The trip was very educational and gave us a very interesting insight to the proceedings in the House of Commons. It was really rewarding to see our work displayed in such an important place.’" (Emily C )
"Afterwards, we were shown portraits of 209 female MPs all in different scenarios, this could potentially help us with future art projects. It was interesting to see the different styles and perspectives of the MPs and seeing them having fun."
"The fact that our art pieces were seen by MPs is quite an impressive achievement and we are very thankful that Claire Perry entered us in the ballot and we hope other years will get this experience." (Katie W and Bella J-B )
Back to reality: Mrs Slater's art students have been sitting their mock GCSE exams this week. At the end of the school year ninety per cent of them will be going on to sixth forms or colleges to study fine art, photography or textiles.[Click on photos to enlarge them]