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    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.

    '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.

    Great Animal Orchestra 2 1280x853

    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.

    Artwork of the week

    Thu 21 November 2019

    P 79108 00tif A4 1200x675 This week we’re recommending some artworks on our doorstep, at Jerwood Space 5 minutes from Charles Dickens. The exhibition ‘Jerwood Collaborate! Array, Keiken + George Jasper Stone, Languid Hands and Shy Bairns.’ Which as the title suggests is about collaboration, on the week of Big Friend Little Friend it feels like a great opportunity to focus on how artists work together.

    This exhibition explores work by early career artists from across the UK; with subjects like ‘socio-political issues affecting Northern Ireland’, ‘a hyper-fictional future’, ‘Prayer, Protest, Peace,’ and finally the ‘hidden process of artistic progression.’ It’s guaranteed to get you thinking…

    This exhibition is free and open until the 15th of December. More information below:

    Artwork of the week

    Fri 06 December 2019

    Rembrandt van Rijn, Landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt This week we’re recommending ‘Rembrandt’s Light’ at Dulwich Picture Gallery, described as ‘An enduring storyteller; a master of light – Rembrandt is one of the greatest painters who ever lived. This landmark exhibition celebrates 350 years since his death with 35 of his iconic paintings, etchings and drawings.’ It’s easy to forget how seemingly invisible but important light is in paintings, like a giant arrow pointing us into focus.

    At this time of year when it’s already getting dark at the end of school, you notice walking around Southwark that there is illuminating light everywhere. I wonder what Rembrandt would paint now?

    More info in the link below:
    https://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/2019/october/rembrandts-light/

    Artwork of the week

    Fri 10 January 2020

    Welcome back to a new term and lots more art!

    There’s still time to catch ‘Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits.’ at the Royal Academy. As taken from the website:

    N8qqirpk4h7uvlhbah0g ‘In a world first, we unite Lucian Freud’s self-portraits in one extraordinary exhibition. See more than 50 paintings, prints and drawings in which this modern master of British art turns his unflinching eye firmly on himself.

    One of the most celebrated portraitists of our time, Lucian Freud is also one of very few 20th century artists who portrayed themselves with such consistency.

    Kegyf6p5ow0aoarkhi4i Spanning nearly seven decades, his self-portraits give a fascinating insight into both his psyche and his development as a painter – from his earliest portrait, painted in 1939, to his final one executed 64 years later. They trace the fascinating evolution from the linear graphic works of his early career to the fleshier, painterly style he became synonymous with.’

    This exhibition is open until the 26th of January, free for children with a paying adult.

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 17 January 2020

    Hello Charles Dickens family,
    Break Out (live) – Lettuce

    Lettuce are a Funk band that gives rhythm character and a life of its own. We used this as an example this week in year 5 & 6 to show how bands communicate through musical ideas for our composition unit. It’s very easy to clap a simple rhythmic phrase but to make it groove, shows true musicality.

    The Band have been together for over 25 years and like the Roots, formed from close friendships. Its evident you see the band having fun as they interact on stage which brings a particular element of excitement and sincerity in their music. A great model for our children.

    Hope you all enjoy!
    Mr Nathan.

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 07 February 2020

    Hello Charles Dickens family,
    Texas Sun – Leon Bridges and Khruangbin

    A collaboration from two of my current favourite artists. Leon Bridges’ first strides as an R&B artist prompted comparisons to legends like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, and Khruangbin’s smooth, mainly instrumental music is heavily inspired by Thai rock and funk from the ’60s and ’70s. While Leon Bridges and Khruangbin don’t necessarily make similar music, they are complementary to one another. Bridges provides an emotional pull for Khruangbin’s intricate and lushly arranged psych-rock landscapes.

    If you enjoy this piece of music, I strongly recommend you check out each artist individually!

    Hope you all enjoy!

    Mr Nathan.

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 14 February 2020

    Hello Charles Dickens family,

    Pain and Misery – Teskey Brothers

    It’s no Surprise that Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Same Cooke and B.B King are among the Teskey Brothers influences. There’s a very special place in my heart for a 6/8 Motown like track. This piece reminds me of the Etta James famous 1975 performance of I’d Rather Go Blind at Montreux.

    Josh Teskey began playing music as a kid, busking the blues on a weekend with brother Sam before the pair joined up with longtime friends Brendon Love and Liam Gough to form The Teskey Brothers a decade ago. It’s clearly given them plenty of time cultivate a genuine blues and soul sound.

    We used this song in Year 3 & 4 to help deepen our understanding of the music vocabulary introduced this term.

    Hope you all enjoy!

    Mr Nathan.

    Artwork of the week

    Fri 28 February 2020

    Art 800 3
    Art 800 2This week I’m recommending some art that is not so near but inspiring none the less.

    MARC BAUER: MAL ȆTRE / PERFORMANCE.’

    Drawn in graphite, images range from those inspired by fifteenth-century Catholic ex-voto paintings, to Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa, up to Aquarius, the boat that rescued migrants in the Mediterranean Sea in 2018. Using the slow and cumulative process of drawing and erasing, Bauer’s project brings the past into the present in his investigation of humanity.

    As the video below shows, Bauer’s drawings document a history of migration, of people on boats and on travel. Depicting the frames of paintings as well as their representations is a clever way of demonstrating how in a world changing so fast, drawing can still be so powerful.

    This exhibition is free, and open until the 10th of May at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

    Mr Yusuf

    Dickens' Island Discs

    Fri 28 February 2020

    Hello Charles Dickens family,
    Amsterdam – Gregory Alan Isakov’

    This is very touching and introspective folk music. Amsterdam is from Gregory Alan Isakov’s 2013 Album, Weatherman. There is a depth and progression to Isakov’s lyrics that really gives you a feeling of something very genuine. The instrumentation is subtle and the songwriting is brilliant. Often after we listen to music in our classes, children describe how the dimensions of music communicates ideas/themes. We made the link between Rap and Folk this week in Year 4 to understand, sometimes, the lyrics can most important part of a piece of music.

    Churches and trains
    They all look the same to me now
    They shoot you someplace
    While we ache to come home somehow

    Hope you all enjoy!

    Mr Nathan.

    Artwork of the week

    Fri 06 March 2020

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    This week I’m recommending something not so clear, ‘Tranparent Things’ in fact. At Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art.

    Based on Chapter 1 of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel, this exhibition explores material objects, thoughts, memory and matter. Although conceptually challenging, throughout the various different spaces within the gallery are a wonderfully curated collection of artworks from different artists. Read ‘Chapter 1’ for yourself here, it is beautifully written

    This exhibition is in New Cross, open until the 3rd of May.

    More information about the exhibition and the artist involved here

    Artwork of the week

    Thu 12 March 2020

    This week I want to recommend a great online resource, ‘Art Zoom’ on Google Arts & Cultures Youtube channel. Getting cultural figures like Jarvis Cocker to delve deeply into an artwork. His break down of Claude Monet’s ‘La Gare Saint-Lazare’ takes you to nineteenth century Paris, I can’t image what it would be like to be an artist back then!

    Check them out here