The Diocesan Art Competition for the Year of The Bible culminated in two exhibitions and prize giving events across the diocese in July.
Church schools across the diocese fully embraced the challenge set, with over 70 church schools taking part.
Art work ranged from intricately painted silks, a plethora of Ark’s, numerous whales and a life sized Goliath; which is now proudly guarding the entrance to the Education department in Church House! One school even went so far as to hire a swimming pool to re-enact the great flood, using under water cameras to capture the action.
Due to the awe-inspiring response to the competition, judging took place in two rounds. The first round of judging saw the two largest meeting rooms in Church House covered in art work for two days. Selected staff from within the diocese were then asked to come in and score every piece of art work. With around 1000 pieces of art work, this was no mean feat! The second round of judging saw our five judges have the unenviable task of selecting our winners. Our judges included Ann Holt, Diocesan Director of Education, the Bishop of Horsham, Marc Steene from the Pallant Gallery, Annelies Clark a local artist and Antonia Howard a children’s book illustrator.
It took our judges a full day to come to their decisions and due to the quality of the work, they even decided to add in more prizes, particularly around whole school collaboration and innovative ideas. Annelies Clark said: “The whole experience of judging the art competition was simply a treat. I was moved by the overwhelming response from the schools and the students and the highly original approach to some of the Bible stories. It felt a bit like Elijah discovering how many prophets there were left in Israel and it was wonderful to see how the Bible can inspire even today.”
Mark Steene said: ‘It was a privilege to be asked to judge such wonderfully creative work, rich with meaning, providing new insights and thoughts on the bible and the stories therein.’ In total, there were 43 prize winners, including seven special school prizes which were awarded for innovative approaches to completing their entries. The overall winner in the primary section was St Andrew’s Primary in Hove and overall winner in the secondary section was Davison High School for Girls. Trevor Cristin, Headteacher at St Andrew's Primary school in Hove said: "This competition has been a great opportunity for us to respond to what we have been learning about in the bible in a new, fresh and artistic way. We decided to approach the project as a whole school and it has been so rewarding to watch all the children and staff come together in such a creative fashion. It's nice to win prizes but the real rewards lie in the collective pride and joy we have shared in each other's work."
Chris Keating, Headteacher of Davison CE High School for Girls said: “I am delighted that our wonderful students and staff have embraced the Diocesan Art Project so enthusiastically. The standard of entries, from all schools, has been amazingly high. To have received so many awards makes us all beyond proud! Our thanks go to Michelle Perry and all colleagues involved in arranging such a fabulous project. Our staff are already making plans for project number two next year!”
Our prize winners said: Colette Philips, from St Margarets CE Primary, Ditchling, said: "I feel really proud of winning because it was out of lots of people. I really liked winning because colouring is one of my favourite things and I love books!"
Lydia Dixon, from St Catherines College, Eastbourne, said: “I was so pleased to be selected as a prize winner and was over the moon with my prize. I will use the art materials to help me with my A-level studies next year and I have put the vouchers towards my next art project of weaving. It was an honour to use my art to glorify God” Adult category winner, Revd David Garratt, is a chaplain at St Catherine’s College Eastbourne. He said: “It was great to be a prize winner, especially when it’s something you really believe in as well.”
Our thanks go to those who have supported this competition since its launch in advent, without whom this would not have been possible. Special thanks go to the Diocesan Board of Finance, an anonymous donor and 9 of the deaneries who all donated money to the prize fund. Further thanks go to Books Alive in Hove and Seawhites of Brighton who also generously donated prizes.
Photos from the two prize-givings can be found on our Facebook page.
St Leonards here
A list of all the prize-givingdetaisla can be viewed here