Back in November 2023, year 12 students studying ‘Fine Art’ at New College Bradford visited the cathedral to undertake preliminary work for their ‘Structures’ project. We spoke to Kate Mallison (Head of Visual Arts at New College Bradford) and George Kinghorn (Teacher of Fine Art) to find out more about this work.
The students are coming to the end of their ‘Structures’ project & have created pieces including those based on Bradford Cathedral. Could you tell us more about the project?
‘Structures’ is a project that all year 12 Fine Art students begin in September, when they start at New College Bradford. The project is a skills project where students develop skills in drawing, painting, print making, photography and creating compositional ideas.
As part of the project the trip to Bradford Cathedral is arranged. This visit allows students to gather a range of primary research to support their projects. Students are encouraged to take photographs of the building, inside and out. They are also given the task of drawing the building, capturing the Cathedral’s atmosphere and grandeur. This project aims to celebrate Bradford and its architecture, with each student choosing different parts of the city to include in a Final Outcome, that showcases their chosen skills.
What materials and concepts did the students use in creating the pieces?
The Final Outcomes are mixed media pieces, with each student choosing a different medium based on the skills they have explored. Most pieces include painting, drawing, printing and collage. The overall concept of the final piece was a composition of different parts of the city, often layering buildings together. These pieces have become quite personal to the students with some choosing to include elements of self-portraiture and buildings surrounding where they live.
The pieces came out of a visit on Monday 6th November 2023 – what was the aim of that visit, and how did it inspire the students?
The aim of the visit was to gather primary photos which have been used as reference images for their final pieces, along with other structures from the city. Students were very positive about the visit, and were very engaged on the day. For some it brought back memories of visiting the Cathedral as students in primary school, for others it was their first experience visiting a Cathedral.
How can people find out more about any of the visual arts courses?
The New College Bradford Website provides basic information on the courses offered, and we do have open days/evenings throughout the year for prospective students to visit the college. We will also be holding an end of year exhibition for our Year 13 students.
Finally, what projects have the students got next?
Once the ‘Structures’ project is completed, students will begin work on their first major project (Coursework). This is a personal investigation where students choose their own theme. The skills developed in the Structures project act as a foundation for their personal investigation. This project will lead them into year 13, their final year.
Maggie Myers, Bradford Cathedral’s Director of Education and Visitors, says:
“We are so delighted that for the last few years Fine Art students from New College Bradford have visited the cathedral to undertake work for their course. It is such a beautiful place, with many interesting architectural and historical features, and it is always wonderful to see young people in the building and grounds.
“This academic year we have also welcomed A Level History students from New College Bradford, who came to look at some of our Tudor features. Over the last few years we have seen an increase in the number of GCSE and A Level groups coming to the cathedral for RE, History, Art and other creative and wellbeing workshops, as well as the large number of visits we receive from primary schools. There is so much to see and enjoy at Bradford Cathedral and every visit is bespoke.”
If you are thinking about an educational visit, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Maggie Myers on email@example.com. You can find out more about their visit – and see more photos – on their Facebook page.