By 5.45pm on the evening of 3rd November there was a palpable buzz outside the 20th Century Theatre in Westbourne Grove, London as people began gathering to visit the art exhibition, Past Present Future, celebrating the Art of St Mary’s Calne.
The first exhibit on view in the ground floor window space, was a life-size elephant made of wire, wood, plaster and rope created by Hannah (UV Form), which had people literally stopping in their tracks. Thereafter expectations were surpassed everywhere you looked. Approximately two hundred guests passed through the door on the first night and were treated not only to a dizzying array of talent, ice cold prosecco, and the most incredible party atmosphere, but also to an inspirational and heartfelt speech by Sir Antony Gormley, who awarded his prize (the Fitzwilliam-Lay Prize) for best piece of work by a senior girl to Georgina (LVI Form). Sir Antony, who currently has three great nieces at St Mary’s Calne, awarded the prize in loving memory of his niece, Victoria Fitzwilliam-Lay.
Parents, old girls, current girls and even potential parents, were all utterly wowed by the art submitted by Calne girls past and present, and several of the pieces were sold. We could not have been more pleased with the success of the event and all felt extremely proud to be members of such a creative and gifted community.
The exhibition was our second London Exhibition of Art by past, present and future students of St Mary’s Calne. We are enormously keen to give our artists the chance to be seen by a wider audience, building on the success of the previous London Exhibition in Cork Street in 2012.
“Creativity has a special place in the life of St Mary’s – in Art, Music and Drama, of course, but also across the whole curriculum. My team and I see creativity as one of the cornerstones of an all-round education that makes girls innovative, challenging and thoughtful – in fact there couldn’t be a better example of how we go ‘beyond the exam’ to prepare girls for life.” Dr Felicia Kirk, Headmistress
Credit for photos: Photos courtesy of Clarissa Fortesque