News & Events

London Ablaze

CoLA joined with the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London last week to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. As part of the celebrations, the City Livery Company hosted an exhibition of artwork at the church of Stephen Walbrook, which was attended by representatives from CoLA.
Earlier in the year, CoLA was chosen along with nine other schools to design a piece of glass artwork of the Great Fire, in collaboration with a leading contemporary glass artist. CoLA paired up with Michael Ray, an award winning glass artist. A group of students took part in two after school sessions and a school trip before participating in the workshop with Michael. The first session was all about life before and after the fire and how life changed for the people of London. Students made their own charcoal to explore the potential of fire as a creative tool and they used this to create a picture of a phoenix.
In the second session, students looked at how architecture changed in London and witnessed a model of London being burnt down to examine the destructive effects of fire. They then went on a school trip to the Museum of London to learn more and draw artefacts from the period and made a trip to London Glassblowing in Bermondsey to watch glass being made. Here students met legendary glass artist Peter Layton who was on hand to answer the fantastic questions that the students had.
The final artwork was displayed as part of the London Ablaze exhibition last week and will now move to Hatfield House in Hertfordshire where it will be exhibited until the end of the month.
Art teacher Ben Frimet says: "The project was a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about a part of London's history, which in turn is part of their own history. Students investigated the potential of fire to devastate, as well as to act as a creative force, from making charcoal to turning glass into a liquid that can be moulded into myriad forms.
"Working with Michael gave the students an invaluable insight into the processes used by a living artist and the fact that they made their own glass piece as well as design a magnificent finished piece made the experience one to remember forever!"
CoLA believes that visual art is essential for harnessing creative and expressive talent in our students. Involvement in this type of art project was an exciting opportunity for cross-curricular exploration between humanities and art and is one of many projects our students can participate in during their time at CoLA.
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