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17/05/18

Retweetd From Shiva

Having this joy to participate the first feminist society session and debate cake at with , great talks on feminism and body image💥💥💥💥 https://t.co/py67LsGvaF

17/05/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Very excited to be hosting the first HGAED Feminist Society with Dhillon from https://t.co/InhHsHTo41

15/05/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Please RT if you know anyone who would be interested in an art technician job - details here: https://t.co/CznDErt8RU,

14/05/18

(left) is our school's first artist in residence. Alix is working with Year 9 on an project about the significance of hair in cultural identity. Pictured with head of art . Find out more https://t.co/6s7e3H1NPC. https://t.co/b3HWn3foJz

09/05/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Creative activism at its best! Inspired by celebrating contributions of women of colour activists in preparation for https://t.co/WeJsc69u0o

01/05/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Yr9 artists inspired by Mark Dion to develop curiosity in our surroundings @ https://t.co/o2ODDVnrTD

01/05/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Discussion lead by around gaps in the curriculum. https://t.co/EQdjOMPU0L

25/04/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Yr9 art students will be working with for PROCESSIONS. Can’t wait! https://t.co/VTvFfLwmVB

18/04/18

Retweetd From Moon Lane Ink CIC Children’s Bookshop

Our next book review is now up! Filmed at Tales on the Rye- the school bookshop created in collaboration with https://t.co/8ZVGXTvZhL

05/04/18

Retweetd From Moon Lane Ink CIC Children’s Bookshop

The Uncracked Code has been flying off our shelves. We also had it reviewed by students Watch here! https://t.co/UtasEu3AhR

03/04/18

Congratulations to the fantastic speakers at the "Speak Out" Challenge Regional Final last week. And especially worthy winner Omotola from . Our own Hafsa (pictured) was the fabulous MC! https://t.co/7IQkOTuBL2

29/03/18

Our girls raised £126.38 for by bringing in spare copper coins. Great work everyone... 289,000 children under five die each year due to illness linked to dirty water. We're raising money for water, toilets, hygiene https://t.co/drTuTb8qXB

28/03/18

Retweetd From Speakers Trust

A big thank you to Chris Brown and the team for hosting a brilliant Southwark Regional Final this evening!

28/03/18

Retweetd From Speakers Trust

"The ability to speak and articulate your thoughts and ideas is essential in life" Thank you Carrie Senior Head of for your very warm welcome tonight.

28/03/18

Retweetd From Georgia Hewson

The team make running the Southwark challenge a piece of cake. 😉 https://t.co/UZO864q6cL

28/03/18

Retweetd From Speakers Trust

Here's our amazing MC for tonight's event, last year's Southwark Champion Hafsa from https://t.co/jd5GAKjozb

28/03/18

Retweetd From Speakers Trust

Southwark's turn tonight for a Regional Final . Hafsa Ahmed, last year's Champ, will be our MC for the evening. Come and support Southwark's young speakers! https://t.co/c2dP754eP4 https://t.co/tij38KHwKW

28/03/18

Pics from our Staff vs Students and matches last week to raise money for . Yes, there were questionable tactics and variable talent on display throughout(!) but everyone had a great time... bring on next year's rematch. https://t.co/fP07uwq0TS

27/03/18

Year 7 are really enjoying their project with on understanding national identity and Britishness. See our new national flags and anthem at https://t.co/SWeN391OMz https://t.co/FzgX8KlvqJ

15/03/18

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Sneak preview new exhibition - The Missing Chapter: Black Chronicles thanks to for an inspired resource, curated by yr9 students, and nearly ready to open debate around missing histories in our curriculums https://t.co/5sIJj0bm1L

Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Latest News

Posted on May 14th 2018

Alix Bizet is Our First Artist in Residence

Alix Bizet 2A new artist in residence programme at Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich is broadening the curriculum for Year 9.

French designer Alix Bizet (left) now has a studio at Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich as part of the school’s new artist in residence programme that started in December.

Alix, who trained in product design and has previously been artist in residence at London’s Design Museum, has her studio next door to the art classroom. It’s the idea of head of art Clare Stanhope (right), who spotted the potential after an old photography darkroom became vacant.

“I’ve wanted to organise an artists in residence programme for some time,” says Clare, who had previously set up an art gallery at the school with art teacher Jose Campos where visiting artists can display their work and discuss it with students.

I want the curriculum to be as vibrant as possible. I’m white, middle age and middle class, which is valid, but there’s lots of things I can’t bring to the classroom because that’s not who I am. But what I can do is create spaces where other people can come in – spaces that enable conversations to happen.”

Hair and the community

Alix is mixed race and studied in England and Holland as well as France. Her work explores cultural identity, reflecting the many influences on her own life.

Artist in residenceAs part of her residency, Alix will work with students on a project exploring the role of hair in the Afro community, from which many of the students come. She’s started by asking students and teachers to collect combings from their own hair, which she has spun into a yarn (pictured) to represent the diversity of the school.

Students will also photograph and film hairdressers in Peckham to explore the significance of hair in Afro culture, while an embroidery workshop will also look at how the hair can be used to create new objects. The plan is to end the project with a show at the South London Gallery in November.

“For me, it’s important to look at the identity of the school and celebrate the different backgrounds of students – African, Afro Caribbean, Caucasian, Eastern European,” says Alix. “I want to celebrate the diversity of the school and for me that’s a bit unique, because if you go to other schools it’s not so celebrated.”

Alix understands that the project may be controversial. “People are sometimes disgusted by the yarn I’ve spun from hair. They don’t want to touch it or look at it. But my project is all about celebrating that hair is important in the Afro community. I know this project is going to be challenging because some people will feel it’s not so respectful.”

Inspire students

Clare thinks that having someone like Alix around the school will inspire students by letting them work with a professional artist.  “There’s a brilliant feminist quote that goes ‘You can’t be it if you can’t see it’. I strongly believe you need to be promoting women artists and women of colour. We’re in a girls school, and the students need to not be surrounded by usual dead white male artists that the curriculum is infused with all the time.”

Alix is particularly interested in how we can bridge the gap between the viewing public and contemporary art. “In contemporary art, design or architecture it’s always the same people from the same kind of privileged background – often white middle class and from the same schools. The journey is not very diverse so the fact that I’m French, that I don’t do oil or sculpture, I don’t do something classic and I’m ethnically diverse – I think it can give students the idea that they can open doors they thought were closed and unreachable.”

Gentrification

Her work also ties in with the controversy over the changing face of Peckham, often referred to as ‘gentrification’. Artists are being priced out of studio space, says Alix, and the hair salons are being asked to move as well. The project will give students a chance to explore these issues too.

Alix is free to use her studio at the school on weekdays or evenings or on Saturdays. “As an artist you never realise how important it is to have a studio,” she says. The room here is three times the space I might get somewhere else in Peckham. I’ve got all my materials, my sewing machine, my mood board – it’s where I come to work and concentrate, to give me ideas.”

In return for working with students, Alix gets the space for free, and when her residency ends in December a different artist will then be invited to work at the school.

Artists in residents are not unknown in schools but they usually work in private schools and in traditional fine arts, such as painting and sculpture. If you search on the internet you’ll most likely be directed to the websites of Eton, Repton or Marlborough. In future, Clare hopes that more state schools will see the value of having working artists in the school too.


Read a Q&A with Alix Bizet and the Design Museum

Visit Alix Bizet's website