Sixth Form News

Sixth Form student excels at the ART of public speaking competition

Congratulations to International Baccalaureate (IB) student Helena from Lower VI for being Highly Commended by the judges at this year’s ARTiculation competition. The ARTiculation Challenge is all about students learning to express their views and ideas about art with confidence, a challenge that Helena confidently took on, focusing on the works of her aunt and inspiration, Caroline Holder. Caroline works in the medium of ceramics, which has motivated Helena to try her hand at the challenging field. She says she loves ceramic art once she’s finished making the piece, but actually creating it can be frustrating at times. “You can’t get too attached to a piece as it may explode in the kiln” she remarked.

Helena greatly enjoyed trying her hand at public speaking for the first time, saying that it turned out to be “a lot less scary than I thought”. After being selected to go on to the next stage of the competition, Helena went to the Oxford regional finals, held at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. Professor Alexandra Harris FRSL, a Professor of English at the University of Birmingham, was the adjudicator for the event. Helena explained that the idea of standing in front of 30 or so people was highly nerve-wracking. Thankfully, although the first two minutes were absolutely terrifying, she soon got into the zone and delivered a fantastic speech about the work of her aunt. Professor Harris was so impressed that she went on to praise Helena for her brilliant choice of unusual subject matter and for introducing her to a new artist.

Helena doesn’t have any one specific favourite artist, explaining that they’re always “changing with what I do”. Through her work in IB Art, she has been introduced to many new artists using various different mediums. Her favourite photographer is Gregory Crewdeson, whose work is a great inspiration for her.

Helena is unsure as to what she wants to go on to do after she leaves The Abbey as so many of her subjects fascinate her. However, she has shown through her drive in the ARTiculation competition that she will be able to take on any challenge thrown her way, even ones that seem daunting at first. We wish her all the best for the future.

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