Art at St Catherine's

The Art Department at St Catherine's is a dynamic and creative space that is open to all. We actively encourage the students to get involved in creative pursuits whether that be in class, exam. studies or the wide range of clubs and activities we put on every week. Full rein is given to creativity in every possible dimension, with experimentation and personal development of ideas actively encouraged. We do not have a house style and believe the heart of a good art department is one that helps the students find their own personal style and way of working. We do, however, strongly believe in teaching the formal elements and every course is started with a focus on drawing, observational skills and the use of colour. These traditional skills give the students the ability to express their ideas more clearly and therefore allows them to investigate a wide range of artists and concepts.

An awareness and appreciation of the History of Art and world cultures is a crucial aspect of the subject and we are proud of our superb Art Library and ICT resources in this respect.

The John Palmer Centre, opened in 1996, is a purpose-built building. It is light and airy with a very different atmosphere from the classroom, which encourages freedom of expression in the individual. We have our own gallery space, which is used by our students for end-of-year shows, House Art and professional artist exhibitions. Students’ art is also selected to be exhibited in the Headmistress' study and a Study Award is given for this highest honour.

Art is celebrated everywhere in the school and we are proud of our numerous artist-in-residence murals and installations and A2 student art commissions. Our annual GCSE exhibition is held in the beautiful Upper Atrium of the Anniversary Halls.

Art Department Staff
  • Mr Alex Perry-Adlam - Head of Art

    Joined St Catherine's in 2012, having had 18 months as a professional artist, working and exhibiting in London. His previous teaching role was as Head of the Arts and Sports Faculty at Claremont Fan Court School. He is an A level Art moderator for Edexcel and has a keen interest in the development of the new curriculum in the Arts. His specialisms are fine art painting and photography and he has worked extensively in new media in his own art. He is passionate about promoting and supporting up-and-coming artists and designers and his specialist field of study is late C20th Art.
  • Miss Louise Chivers 

    Louise joined St. Catherine's as a newly qualified teacher in 2017, having worked as a University Studio Supervisor in Fine Art running group critiques. She enjoys engaging with Fine Art contextual studies to further the development of students’ work. Her own practice is predominantly sculpture and installation based. She strongly believes that Art is a core part of the curriculum, not only as a tool for communication and expression, but also in teaching resilience and problem solving skills essential for personal development and the workplace.  

  • Miss Emily Ward