Work from three Bilborough College students displayed as part of national online art exhibition themed around lockdown

Work by three teenagers from Bilborough College is featured as part of a national online art exhibition to showcase the life of sixth form college students during lockdown.

More than 140 students from 46 colleges submitted contributions to ‘At home’, which is being co-ordinated by the Sixth Form Colleges Association.

Bilborough College students Chloe Duriez, Ellie Edwards and Daisy Evans all had their submissions accepted.

Usually, winners of this competition have their work on display at Crystal Palace in London but during the current crisis the exhibition has moved online and can be viewed until June 19th here

Mike Hallmark, course leader for Art at Bilborough College, said it was a fantastic achievement to have all three entries accepted.

He said: “The fact that all three Bilborough entrants were accepted to the exhibition is a testament to the depth and quality of work in Art and Photography. We had a lot of really strong submissions from both Year 12 and Year 13 students and I felt that Ellie’s painting was a real allegory of this difficult time; she has captured the moment and done it in a way which has a very contemporary aesthetic.

“The two photography students, Chloe and Daisy, each alluded to the issue with visual metaphors, perfectly illustrating the tension and unease, but also a hint of optimism which accompanies the position we’re all in at present.”

Chloe said she was ecstatic to have her work – a photograph titled Tools – displayed as part of the exhibition.

She said: “It’s amazing to know that my photograph was deemed good enough to be selected and displayed alongside so many other wonderful pieces.

“The photograph was taken for my A-Level Photography coursework. I wanted the photo to reflect the resourcefulness we have all had to take on as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. We have all made sacrifices to come out stronger the other side of this pandemic.”

Ellie said she was thrilled that her work had been chosen to be part of the display.

She said: “It’s great to see that the judges saw something in my work. The image that I submitted is a photograph of an acrylic painting which I created to show the repetition of each day in isolation. The idea of using skeletal figures to symbolise people, to me, represents a stripping away of any distractions or aesthetics we had before. Instead, the range of activities and passions every individual in a household has, now translates into an overcrowding of each other’s spaces. Overall, seeing other students’ art and their interpretations is so inspiring and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Daisy said she was surprised to find out that her work – a photograph titled Roses – had been included in the exhibition.

She said: “I hadn’t expected it but I’m very grateful to have been chosen and I’m excited for other people to see my work and be part of an incredible exhibition. I’ve loved looking at everyone else’s and it’s amazing how each one captures the different emotions and elements of life right now.

“I knew I wanted to shoot roses as I had been doing a project on them for college and to me they’re symbolic of growth and passage of time. I wanted to see how I could make a photograph of some flowers more interesting and unique so I decided to freeze them in ice. This worked well as the buds of the roses are only half submerged in ice and details of the petals are still visible. To me the ice represents the lockdown and the roses, life. I also think that the colour of the roses reminds me of my sister and I, vibrant and bold. My photograph symbolises how society has come to a halt amidst the global pandemic and how my sister’s and my teenage years have been frozen in time. Yet, ice is ice and it will begin to melt and eventually we will be safe and we will be free. So, that’s what my work symbolises, it symbolises a hope for the future whilst recognising the struggles of the present.”

The exhibition was launched by Department for Education minister, Gillian Keegan, who said: “This has been a difficult time for the entire country but this exhibition is a wonderful example of how creativity can flourish in the face of adversity.

“It’s great to see how these sixth form students have captured the experiences of lockdown from a young person’s perspective.”