Arts and Ideas Notice Board

Welcome to Arts & Ideas. A space where we invite you to celebrate interesting people, music and art. A place to share thinkers, creators and ideas that we are exploring across the school that you can share with your family to provoke conversations and ignite curiosities.

Wallpaper

Thu 27 June 2019

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It’s not often we can say 50 works of Vincent Van Gogh are on show together, so of course we are recommending it. Worth it alone for the mastery of brush strokes, movement and colour. ‘The exhibition also looks at the British artists who were inspired by Van Gogh, including Francis Bacon, David Bomberg, and the young Camden Town painters. It shows how his vision set British artists on the road to modern art.’ Open at Tate Britain until the 11th of August, under 12’s free (up to four per paying family adult.) and check if you need to book in advance!

https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/ey-exhibition-van-gogh-and-britain

In Focus- Cora Coralina

Thu 27 June 2019

This week’s person in focus is the Brazilian poet, Cora Coralina. Born in 1889, Coralina spent her days working as a baker, raising her children and when she found the time, she wrote poetry. A remarkable woman, it wasn’t until the age of 70 that Coralina decided to take her poetry seriously and she started taking typing courses so that she could send her poems off to publishers.

After publishing her first book in 1965, Coralina quickly became one of the most important Brazilian voices of the 20th century. Her poem All Lives captured the many different identities she had, from mother to baker to poet. Why not take inspiration from Coralina and create your own poems this weekend about the many identities you have in your day to day life…

Dickens' Island Discs

Thu 27 June 2019

Hello Charles Dickens family,
Water From An Ancient Well – Abdullah Ibrahim

The melodic sounds of South Africa are blended with the improvisation of jazz and the technical proficiency of classical music by South Africa-born pianist Dollar Brand or, as he’s called himself since converting to Islam in 1968, Abdullah Ibrahim.

Micawber class have just taken part in a project that peered into the music and life of Ibrahim. As well as singing three pieces with the seven other schools, the children composed a piece of music on the theme of ‘exile’, which they performed to a packed out Royal Festival Hall. Ibrahim left apartheid South Africa in 1962 to continue playing music. Our children’s full performance can be seen on the school instagram.

This project was an amazing way to understand how much impact music can have on an individual, as well as looking into the history and culture of apartheid.

We’re all very proud of Micawber and their achievements. ‘Water From An Ancient Well’ was one of the songs from Ibrahim the children performed that night.

Hope you all enjoy!

Wallpaper

Fri 05 July 2019

Wallpaper: Liz Johnson Artur

This week we’re recommending ‘Liz Johnson Artur: If you know the beginning, the end is no trouble’ at the South London Gallery.

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‘For her first solo show in the UK, Russian-Ghanaian artist Liz Johnson Artur presents new sculptural works incorporating photographs selected from her substantial archive of images documenting the lives of people from the African diaspora.’

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As well as telling stories about people, Artur presents her work in a playful way, using different structures, materials and fabrics. It helps to bring the archive to life.

This exhibition is free at South London Gallery, between Peckham and Camberwell. Open until the 1st of September, more information here

In Focus

Fri 05 July 2019

In Focus: Robert Moog

Robert Moog was an American sound engineer who invented one of the most important musical instruments of the 20th Century – The Moog Synthesizer.

An electronic instrument played with a keyboard, synthesizers take electronic signals and change them into audio sounds. Widely popular during the mid-20th Century, synthesizers were originally so big and complicated that they were the size of a whole room and needed an engineer to operate them.

Moog saw a problem here and in 1964, create a more compact synthesizer – ‘the Moog Synthesizer’ and then the ‘Mini-Moog’ that were more accessible to the everyday musician.

He is a hugely interesting man and someone who without, the shape and sound of music would be very different.

Here he is modelling the Mini Moog in action from the 1980s.

If you’re feeling inspired and wanted to have a play around with a synth, Mod Synth is a really accessible free online synth that explains electronic sound really clearly.

Thanks

Mr Young

Dickens' Island Discs

Fri 12 July 2019

Hello Charles Dickens family,

The Beatles: Get Back

Have you ever heard A Hard Day’s Night, The End, A Day In The Life, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) and a few other Beatles nuggets all thrown into one? Well settle in and get ready!

In 2006, George and son, Giles Martin were tasked with reworking the Beatles back catalogue into an hour long soundtrack to acompany a Cirque de Soleil production. The results were an album called Love which if you haven’t hear, is well worth a listen.

This is the second track from the album anchored around Get Back.

Here are some highlights from the Cirque de Soleil performance.

Hope you all enjoy!

Thanks

Mr Young

Dickens' Island Discs

Fri 13 September 2019

Hello Charles Dickens family,
God Only Knows – She & Him

I came across this recording of ‘God Only Knows’, a beautiful rendition of the Beach Boys Classic, when looking through material for our singing assemblies this year. She & Him feature the somewhat unlikely pairing of country-folk artist M. Ward and actress/singer/songwriter Zooey Deschanel. They bring authenticity back to the vintage pop sound through analog production. I first discovered the band after hearing Deschanel singing in the film Elf. Her vocal style has a raspy jazzy tone mixed with country like ghost notes.

We’ll be working on this piece in our whole school in our weekly singing assemblies, with our new Choir teacher Georgia Duncan.

Hope you all enjoy!

Mr Nathan.

Artwork of the week

Fri 13 September 2019

It’s really exciting to welcome you back with an artwork we were involved in. The Ship Of Tolerance is docked on the River Thames by Tate Modern until the 6th of October.

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Over 750 children have so far been involved in painting the sails, with some of our year 5’s contributing what tolerance meant to them. More information about this great project here.

Artwork of the week

Fri 20 September 2019

If you haven’t yet seen it, Mike Nelsons commission ‘The Asset Strippers’ is well worth a visit. Carefully selecting ‘objects from the post-war Britain that framed his childhood.’ These enormous machines make beautiful monuments to the past, think Wall-E in a gallery. See if it inspires you to make a sculpture, or reclaim something old into something new?

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This installation is in the Tate Britains Duveen Galleries (go through the big squeaky door.) Open until the 6th of October, more info here.

Dickens' Island Discs

Fri 20 September 2019

Hello Charles Dickens family,

Streets of London – Ralph McTell

This week we welcomed Georgia Duncan, our new singing teacher, to join our team of specialist music teachers at school.

Georgia will be working with our Training Choir and Upper School Choir as well as leading our weekly whole school singing assemblies.

We learnt Streets of London by Ralph McTell in our school singing assembly this week. Ralph McTell is a multi-dimensional guitarist and singer/songwriter who’s influenced hundreds of folk singers in Great Britain, Europe, and the U.S.

Streets of London first appeared on his Spiral Staircase album in 1969.The melody seems simple but is full of beautiful jumps and leaps. This song gives us perspective on our day to day lives, it reminds us about how fortunate we are and what we should be grateful for.

Hope you all enjoy!

Mr Nathan.

'In Real Life' by Olafur Eliasson

Fri 27 September 2019

This week we’re recommending ‘In Real Life’ by Olafur Eliasson who once famously filled the Turbine Hall in the Tate with a beautiful and mesmerising sun, glowing infinitely.
This exhibition presents installations that make you ‘become aware of your senses, people around you and the world beyond.’ To link in with our art curriculum, look at how how light and colours are transformed.

Up to four children can go with a paying adult, the exhibition is on until the 5th of January so a while yet! More information here.

Dickens' Island Discs

Fri 27 September 2019

This week’s Dickens Island Discs celebrates the 50th anniversary release of The Beatles final album, Abbey Road.

Released on the 26th September 1969, Abbey Road was an album that celebrates the brilliance of each of the Beatles songwriting talents. From John Lennon’s Come Together to Because; George Harrison’s Something to Here Comes the Sun; Ringo’s Octopus’s Garden and Paul Macartney’s Oh Darling or even Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, the songs on Abbey Road have become so familiar and iconic, I think all our lives have a slice of Abbey Road stitched into them somewhere.

As a band’s final album, it is an ambitious project and this week’s Dickens Island Discs looks at the second side of Abbey Road and the ambition that is the Medley.

Blending 8 short music sections over 16 minutes, the Medley has a multitude of musical moments that in themselves would be great but sewn together are brilliant.

A remastered 50th anniversary edition of Abbey Road was released today and even if you stream your music via the internet, why not pick up a copy and share the album with your child this weekend remembering your own encounters with the album and its artwork.

*top interesting Beatles fact: The album’s final song, Her Majesty was originally meant to be woven into the Medley but the Beatles felt it didn’t sound right. In post-production, an acetate of the album was produced for a listening with their record label which had accidentally left the song on the end and after hearing it, the Beatles kept it in!

I hope you enjoy!

Thanks

Mr Young

Dickens' Island Discs

Fri 04 October 2019

This week we celebrated national poetry day and continueing in this theme, this week’s Dickens Island Discs presents Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright.

A song about love, lost and sorrow, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright originally appeared on Dylan’s 1965 album Subterranean Homesick Blues.

A musician and poet, Dylan took the folk, story telling tradition and gave it new life in the 1960s. Going on to sell millions of records and inspire countless songwriters across the world.

From Blowin in the Wind to Tambourine Man, Dylan’s music is something we’ve all shared at some point but this weekend, why not share his music with your family, celebrating his ability to paint a picture with words and song.

Dickens' Island Discs

Fri 11 October 2019

Hello Charles Dickens family,

Over – Thirdstory

Year 6 are learning a tricky piece of choral music. We used Thirdstory’s ‘Over’ as an example of vocal control and dynamics. The piece we’ve learnt is a Medieval Hymn called Donna Nobis Pacem. It’s in 3 part harmony with melodies that move in all directions. The style of this piece is very different but the aspects of singing we’re focusing on are the same. For Dona Nobis to work, children need to sing parts independently with control of their tone and dynamics. Children will be recording this next week and we’re looking forward to sharing on the schools instagram.

For now, here’s Thirdstory live with their beautiful composition and arrangement.

Hope you all enjoy!

Mr Nathan.

Mary Sibande - 'I Came Apart At the Seams.'

Fri 08 November 2019

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At Somerset House is Mary Sibande’s exhibition ‘I Came Apart At the Seams.’ This free exhibition in the Terrace Rooms and South Wing ‘presents a series of photographic and sculptural works exploring the power of imagination and constructive anger in shaping identities and personal narratives in a post-colonial world.’

Sibande performs as a human sculpture in her work, performing as different characters. ‘Sibande pays homage to the generations of women in her family who worked as domestic labourers. In sharing their previously untold stories.’

This exhibition is open until the 5th of January, so plenty of time to catch it! More info here

Dickens' Island Discs

Fri 08 November 2019

Too Much To Ask – Moonchild

‘Little Ghost’ is another infectious and sweet album from the neo soul trio, Moonchild. This group has a beautiful sound. Mature writing, catchy melodies and a beautiful soulful sound with a subtle electronic hip hop edge.

Here’s Too much from the new album. We’re constantly introducing new music to the children for the chance to explore the overwhelming world of sound around us. We used this song in Year two this week to try an imitate the soft breathy vocals of Amber Navran.

If the likes of D’Angelo, Erykah Badu and even Sampha, are on your playlist, this song is for you.

Hope you all enjoy!

Art Work of the Week

Fri 15 November 2019

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It’s not easy picking one artwork a week, with such a great variety of art in London. This week we’ve picked out ‘Other Spaces with United Visual Artists’. Think light, sound and immersive installation, this exhibition is a sensory strange and new world.

At 180 The Strand which has annually hosted large galleries from around the world, has three installations. ‘The Great Animal Orchestra’ at the latter end of the show, visualises the sounds of wildlife, allowing you to follow the soundwaves. It has to be seen to be believed.

This exhibition is free and open until the 8th of December.

More information here.

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Dickens' Island Discs

Fri 15 November 2019

Hello Charles Dickens family,

The Other Side – Moonchild

I’ve always loved the Ukulele but boxed it in to folk/singer songwriter repertoire. This song changed my mind.

I’m currently obsessing with the music of Moonchild. Going through their album, I was surprised to hear this song start with the Ukulele and acoustic guitar. The electric piano comes in and I’m reminded of Bon Iver’s latest album, 22 a Million. The song really kicks in at 58 seconds. If you can, Listen with headphones with good bass. Delicate ideas that hit hard.

I was even more surprised to see this song is in the Key of C. A great key for our Ukulele playing in class. In year 6 we’re all refreshing our Ukulele skills. While we were working hard in class, children were taken two by two outside to work on a technical chordal exercise on the piano. Those confident on the ukulele and/or piano had to learn the notes on the double bass.

I hope each child will be confident across multiple instruments. At the end of next term I want to be able to call children out to play different roles in 4 piece bands with the hope they have that ‘very special musical experience’.

Please enjoy this stunning piece of music!

Mr Nathan.

Artwork of the week

Fri 15 November 2019

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This weeks artwork of the week is one a little bit closer to home, one we took part in in fact. As well as being our focus artist in Year 4.

Steve McQueen ‘invited every Year 3 pupil in London to have their photograph taken by a team of specially trained Tate photographers. They included children from state primaries, independent schools, faith schools, special schools, pupil referral units and home-educated pupils.’

Offering ‘us a glimpse of the capital’s future, a hopeful portrait of a generation to come.’ This final exhibition at the Tate Britian displays these photographs until the 3rd of May, see if you can spot charles dickens!

Find out more here.