As both a physical space and as a philosophical area, the Art department has a unique position within the School. Housed in a spectacular, modern, purpose-built building, the department houses state-of-the-art equipment and the facilities to tackle almost any medium or material.
The department is considered the as one of Fine Art, in which boys are encouraged to explore their own creativity in unique and original ways. There is a strong emphasis on the development of an imaginative and expressive language. In the department there is respect for the boys’ artistic individuality and independence of thought; from the start, they are treated with consideration. An inclusive atmosphere ensures that boys are made to feel able and valid, whilst a nurturing environment supports every individual and gives ready access to the skills and resources which boys need to express themselves as fully as possible.
All members of staff within the department are practising artists, which is integral to the Department ethos and informs working practice. Boys see them create their own work, failing and succeeding as they do, thus demystifying the process of making Art and giving them some insight into the way that Art is created.
The OBS Gallery and Tunnel Gallery is central to the teaching and additional activities within the Art department. Each year group will have at least one exhibition per year in the gallery, providing validation and purpose for the boys. It also serves to place their work within the rich cultural and aesthetic heritage that they are taught to appreciate.
The Tunnel Gallery showcases the work of students and professional artists.
Boys are encouraged to think systematically about language and to develop sensitivity to cultural difference.