The annual Art & Design Exhibition that celebrates talent from pupils at Morrison’s Academy, the leading independent and only all through day school in Perthshire, made a show-stopping return on Friday night (Friday, 18 November 2022).
More than 150 guests passed through the school’s Art Department, which had been transformed into a modern gallery space, to view the work of young artists, photographers and designers. This year’s exhibition, the first in-person show on the Crieff campus since 2019, included an impressive collection by some of the school’s youngest pupils from the nursery with a ‘Who Am I?’ theme.
On display were works of art and design from a broad range of media including sculptures, paintings, illustration, photography and video work. The gallery showed pieces produced by pupils studying National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses over the last two years, including during lockdown, as well as many current projects still in progress.
The Art Department at Morrison’s Academy has set a high bar with a 100% pass rate achieved in Advanced Higher, Higher and National 5 in Art & Design, and with a full set of ‘A’ grades at all three examination levels, for the eighth year in a row.
There was further cause for celebration last week when five Morrison’s Academy pupils had their coursework selected by the SQA as examples of excellence.
Paula O’Neill, Head of Art & Design at Morrison’s Academy said: “Sharing this exceptional collection of work with a wider audience after seeing the time and effort that has gone into each creation is immensely satisfying. It’s wonderful for our team to be able to play a key role in developing talent, helping youngsters to reach their goals in the classroom and beyond.
“Tonight has been about celebrating the exceptionally gifted artists whose work is on display, giving them their moment to shine, especially important for those who worked through the pandemic. Despite the challenges pupils faced during lockdown, they have produced some incredible work with many actually using the challenge as inspiration for their pieces.”
One of these pupils is 16-year old Annabel in S5, who after experiencing feelings of anxiety during lockdown in Hong Kong produced a series of powerful self portraits for her portfolio of Expressive work – an integral part of the Higher Art & Design course. For her portfolio of Design work, fellow pupil Adeline in S5, also 16, displayed some beautiful samples of embroidery which will lead to the creation of an intricate bodice. While Emma, who left S6 in the summer returned to school to showcase her stunning Scottish coastline and river-inspired fashion which formed her Advanced Higher Design work.
Following a learning journey of self discovery this term, the youngest artists in Nursery displayed their work under the theme ‘Who am I?’ On display was a stunning collection of three dimensional houses with holes cut out for windows and doors, as well as clay and wire work which was framed alongside self portraits.
Claire Warden, Head of Nursery, said: “Our nursery children have been excited to play a debut role in the Morrison’s Academy Art & Design exhibition. Starting with the child’s interest is key to our child led inquiries and so we thought a lot about what we like, what we feel we are good at and who we care about. The children decided to make a recording studio in the office to record their ideas. While the creation of the houses allowed the children to explore a variety of shapes, the line drawings allowed them to think about detail and are the foundations of writing.”
Andrew McGarva, Rector at Morrison’s Academy added: “To be able to celebrate the artwork of our exceptionally gifted pupils in person with friends and family once again is without doubt a highlight on the school calendar.”
“We are proud of how hard pupils from nursery through to secondary have worked on their unique projects in the run up to the exhibition. The ongoing success stories of our artists are testament to our dedicated staff who are committed to keeping Morrison’s Academy firmly at the forefront in the world of art and design.”
“Thank you to everyone who played a part in the return of this special event on such a spectacular scale.”