Discover Articulation returns for another final hosted by the University of Leeds
Schools from across England have taken part in another successful year of the national competition, Discover ARTiculation Challenge.
Originally created in 2016 to engage 14 to 16 year olds in art history, this year’s iteration was led by the School of Fine Art History of Art and Cultural Studies and Educational Engagement at the University of Leeds, in partnership with the ARTiculation team at the National Gallery.
Discover ARTiculation Challenge is dedicated to engaging Key Stage 4 students with art and developing their confidence and ability to express their opinions, thoughts and conclusions. It is an annual competition built on the success of the ARTiculation Prize (aimed at sixth form students).
The final on 22 June saw seven shortlisted finalists developing their short film entries into an eight minute presentation on a work of art that inspires them.
This year’s competition final took place online, with students delivering their presentations live from their individual schools from across the country. The adjudicator was Jane Marriot, Director of the Harewood House Trust, supported by Professor Abigail Harrison Moore, who was one of the founders of the competition.
The presentations spanned the centuries, countries, different art forms and artists – from Paula Modersohn-Becker’s self-portrait to Maria Qamar’s Bakwass via Isamu Noguchi’s The Well and Christopher Williams’ Ceridwen. The judges learnt from the careful research that had been undertaken and responded to the finalists’ excellent presentation abilities.
Jane reported that she found it incredibly hard to choose the winners from such an amazing and diverse group of presentations. The winners for this year were revealed as Bleddyn from Eltham College for his research skills, Lottie from Abbey Grange Academy for her presentation, with Roshni from Merstham Park School warded the runner’s-up prize.
As part of the event, Jane Marriott spoke to the participants about her experience of discovering art history when she went to university, having not had a chance to access the subject in her state school in the North East. She described how her experience of the subject led to a career that has taken her from Tate, via the Royal Academy and the Hepworth Wakefield, to Harewood.
Screenshot of Jane Marriot and Abigail Harrison Moore at the online final of Discover ARTiculation Challenge 2022
Jane Marriot said:
“I was honoured to have judged this year’s Discover Articulation Challenge and would like to send my congratulations to the winners.
“At Harewood House we place learning, and engagement, with art at the heart of everything we do, so to see such passionate and articulate 16-year-olds talking about art was truly inspiring.”
Paul McGinty, Art and Design Subject Lead at Abbey Grange in Leeds, said:
“Discover Articulation has brought so much to our curriculum over a number of years, and it was lovely to hear two of our current students speak so well.
“For Lottie to win a prize was amazing and both pupils blew me away with their confidence. It was by far their best performance and I'm sure the praise they received from both Jane and Abigail will really boost their confidence.
“I am convinced that the success of our former winning students has been born from the experiences of participating in the Discover ARTiculation Challenge, two of whom have subsequently gone on to win the ARTiculation Prize in 2019 and 2021 (Zach and Ellie). Zach is now studying art history at university.”
Abigail Harrison Moore, Professor of Art History and Museum Studies in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, said:
“We’re delighted as a school to have partnered with the National Gallery this year to deliver another successful Discover Articulation Challenge.
“Every year I am impressed by the standard of entries. This year, I found it incredibly difficult shortlisting the finalists from the two-minute films that were submitted in the spring.
“Watching the films led me to discover artists I had never heard of and rediscover familiar artists and artworks in new and interesting ways. Having been described as ‘shy and reticent’ when I was 14, I was also very impressed by the confidence and communication skills that our finalists showed.
“I have had the privilege of seeing our previous winners grow through the process of participating in Discover Articulation and then go on to university to study art history. I very much hope that this year’s finalists will think about a creative future as we would all benefit from working with and learning from them.”
Screenshot of the online final for the Discover ARTiculation Challenge 2022. Image courtesy of the Arts Outreach Team, University of Leeds