Today (Tuesday 26th June) artist Kate Hancock worked with the children to bring to life an art movement that coincided with the First World War. A group of artists known as the Vorticists took their inspiration from the Italian art movement known as the Futurists. They were determined to tear away all the deadwood of the past. Machines, power and speed were the keynotes of the future, they believed, and this was reflected in the works they produced. Human beings, they asserted, were merely cogs in the machine of industrial production.
Leading artists in the movement were Wyndham Lewis, David Bomberg and Christopher Nevinson. Their work was dominated by monumental figures, near abstract compositions and a focus on dramatic light and shade.
Following Vorticist ideas and style, the children created their own dynamic work about life in the trenches.
The first step was experimenting with charcoal to develop shade, form and composition. Once familiar with the properties of this medium they then applied their knowledge to producing full compositions. Some superb final pieces of work were produced, displaying a maturity and imagination beyond their years.
The First World War brought an end to the Vorticist movement. The horror of what machinery could do to human beings quickly brought disillusionment to the notion that progress was bound up with machinery and technological progress.
Working with Kate