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Gone with the wind art exhibition proves students do give a damn
6th August 2019

TOMORROW is another day for a talented fashion designer whose Hollywood dress inspired by Scarlett O’Hara will form the centrepiece of an exhibition of students’ work.

Barnard Castle School Art and Design student Rebecca Collinson researched period dressmaking motivated by the 1939 blockbuster Gone with the Wind, the favourite film of her grandmother Anne Carroll.

The green silk ballgown, designed to fit the slender frame of Scarlett O’Hara actress Vivien Leigh, was completed over six months as part of Rebecca’s EPQ qualification.

At the month-long exhibition, at The Witham, Barnard Castle, it will sit among her other coursework completed for her Pre-U qualification in Art and Design.

Rebecca, of Wolsingham, will share the limelight at the display with fellow students, boarder Amy Morill, of London, and Archie Brown, of Richmond.

A private preview of the 18-year-olds’ work will be staged for guests on July 3 with the art exhibition opening to the public from 10am to 4pm the following day.

Farmers’ daughter Rebecca fitted her studies around lambing and sheep showing and hopes to break into the fashion industry, following in the footsteps of celebrated designers and Barnard Castle School ex-students Giles Deacon and Patrick Grant. She has already secured a place to read fashion at Norwich.

“I have watched Gone with the Wind so many times with my grandma that it seemed the perfect choice,” she said.

“In Year 7, I joined the school sewing club which is what started off my love of fashion. I wanted to do something historical for my EPQ and found a book from 1870 on how to ‘sew for a young lady’.

“Vivien Leigh was tiny, only 5ft 4in and had a 15in waste. But I did manage to get one of my friends into the dress to model it and I was delighted with how it looked.”

Head of Art Kate Baptist said all the students had worked exceptionally hard and were really excited to be showing their work publicly.

She said: “Rebecca’s dress is beautiful. She is so passionate about fashion, has worked so hard and come so far, she really deserves every success.”

Deputy Head (Sixth Form) and EPQ Co-ordinator David Cresswell said: “This was genuinely one of the most outstanding projects I have ever seen. What made it outstanding was the fact that she built a studio in her garage to create the perfect atmosphere in which to work on her EPQ. The result was way beyond the standard normally associated with A Level students which made it very easy to mark.”

For Archie, who has secured a place at Leeds Arts University to study film-making, the exhibition is a chance to share is love of the Marvel genre which he first developed in primary school. “It’s not just the stories, it is the artwork of the comic books that I love,” he said.

Amy, who hopes to become an architect, will display work which considers architecture in terms of form, colour and space.

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