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18/01/19

Massive thank you to for an inspirational talk and workshop with year 11. An absolutely brilliant end to our study of Pigeon English https://t.co/YkKWPawCnd

15/01/19

Retweetd From Creative Activism

Very excited to be for , good luck Jamilla, with your talk on Eva Rothschild’s Boys and Sculptures art work, we are massively proud of you! https://t.co/CvpLYti4rO

09/01/19

Here's one for you if you're a young woman aged 9-14 and want to find out about working in STEM. Check out "Meet the Stemettes @ LGIM: IWD edition" https://t.co/fqCzHSifed https://t.co/UbXY2fpA3r

09/01/19

Retweetd From Stemettes 💙 ★ # +

Be the role model you wish you'd had when you were younger! Get with Student to Stemette programme. Sign up now or tag someone you think would be first rate 👇

06/01/19

Happy new year to all! A reminder that Monday is an inset day. Looking forward to seeing our pupils return on Tuesday at 8:30. Don’t forget the big road works and diversions in Peckham-get an earlier bus!!

21/12/18

Retweetd From Mayor of London

London is fearless. London is courageous. London is hard as nails. What’s London to you? https://t.co/GnCdWOgFD8

21/12/18

Retweetd From Big Red Box

Final count of Big Red Boxes for 2018: A massive 2226 boxes. That’s 2226 boxes going to households in SE&E London to bless them this Christmas, bringing a ray of hope to those who need it. Thanks to all the sorting & packing volunteers https://t.co/4JpndWCUpm

21/12/18

To our pupils, parents and staff- we wish you a wonderfully peaceful break. School returns on Tuesday 8th January for students. Looking forward to another cracking year with our brilliant pupils and staff. Thank you for making our school awesome 👏

19/12/18

Retweetd From Harris Experience

Great turnout here today at the Harris Federation Healthcare Careers Day - here are students listening to a presentation about studying medicine at university with ! https://t.co/xkHhn9RkKZ

18/12/18

Retweetd From Big Red Box

Smashed it! We’ve now packed over 2,000 Big Red Boxes this year with more to pack throughout the rest of today. If you have any food to donate that you have yet to give in, please bring it to King’s Church, Lee (SE3 9DY) by 8pm tonight! https://t.co/rHYAFocw9Y

18/12/18

It was an excellent session Charlotte! https://t.co/sKvar79uwq

18/12/18

Well done to our fabulous choir for supporting at their Christmas shows this week https://t.co/6cBu75uA1Y

18/12/18

Retweetd From Big Red Box

We have now packed an incredible 1915 Christmas Hampers for those in the local community who need them most. We’re hoping to pack another 200 or so tonight at King’s Church in Lee, ready to go out and bless people before Christmas https://t.co/KsGz3AKQpT

18/12/18

Thank you to all our pupils and their lovely parents who have given so generously to our campaign. https://t.co/t8qlUFZCpP

18/12/18

We are super proud of them all

08/12/18

Retweetd From HPAEastDulwich

Thank you to the fabulous young ladies from ⁦⁩ for helping out at our Christmas Fair today https://t.co/hgyMOCB1he

06/12/18

Keep those donations coming in please! Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to our campaign https://t.co/X21STCDcMU

05/12/18

Retweetd From Amnesty UK

These 3 things MUST be done to make the web a safer space for us all. See how you can help 👉 https://t.co/S33Y0TqRmX https://t.co/fUPy1RDYKF

05/12/18

Our contributions to slowly but surely building https://t.co/CjujsSRxkd

03/12/18

Retweetd From LPESSN

Great KS1 Multiskills event at Damilola Taylor Centre today. 🎲 A big Thank you to all the amazing young leaders from , and ! 😊 https://t.co/VOMDYpN0DB

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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