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Smithdon High School

Art installation makes a splash

Budding young artists at our school showed they are back in the swim of things after the restrictions of Covid with an installation that features a shoal of sparkling fish, each bearing a positive message.

Working with artist Jessica Perry from the North West Norfolk Arts Society that funded the installation, the Year 7 students designed and created the laser-cut fish, which included words relating to coming back to school and reforming their community, as well as being back out and about in the community following the relaxation of Covid rules.

The fish cascaded from the ceiling of our Main Hall to form the centrepiece of an art exhibition with a theme of Revive. The Installation's permanent home is in the middle of the atrium within our Shaw Building, where the fish will be able to catch the light as they move in the air.

In total, there were 200 pieces of art on display with work from Years 7 to 9, as well as contributions from Year 5 and 6 students at Hunstanton Primary, Heacham Junior, Snettisham Primary, Docking Primary, and Dersingham VA Primary Schools.

Year 7 students contributed monoprints, while Year 8 created ink drawings, lino prints, and colour pencil drawings, and Year 9 produced biro drawings, screen prints, and fine line drawings.

The Deputy Mayor of Hunstanton and his wife attended the exhibition, along with other Hunstanton town councillors, members of the North West Norfolk Arts Society, school staff, and proud parents, who were keen to see their offspring’s work on display.

Revive was chosen as the theme to celebrate the lifting of Covid restrictions, and the bringing together of the six schools within the wider Hunstanton community – something that had not been possible since the inaugural art exhibition in March 2019.

“It was our first exhibition since lockdown,” said Amanda Gibbins, Head of School, “The theme of Revive, following a new head of department joining Smithdon, along with the installation, meant it was the perfect time for us to fully come together to celebrate our resilience, society’s changes, and the wider community of Hunstanton and the surrounding areas. 

"It is a vital element of what we do that parents and the community are able to come into the school to witness the successes of our students and see first-hand the fantastic work that has been produced.”

She added that creativity has long been championed by the West Norfolk Academies Trust, of which Smithdon is part, with students encouraged to express themselves through art, design technology, photography and textiles.

The number of students going on to study art-based subjects in further education has more than tripled over the past three years.

Sian Phelps, Head of Art, added: "I am delighted with the success of the Installation in particular and for the students to be able to work closely with an artist like Jessica.”