Francesca Hutton, a Year 10 student at St John’s Academy, has won one of the prizes in the 2019 Spirited Arts and Poetry Competition. The competition, which is organised by the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education attracted over 40,000 entrants so winning one of the 54 prizes is a significant achievement.
Francesca’s winning art work is entitled ‘How do we live and love in the face of persecution?’ It was inspired by her Philosophy and Religion lessons in Year 9 on the themes of persecution and human rights.
The work is hand drawn with pen drawing on top and water colour underneath. This gives the work depth and texture. Francesca told marlborough.news, “I wanted to base it on something real so I used two well-known photographs, one from VE Day and another of the famous striped pyjamas worn by Jews during the holocaust.”
St John’s Academy art teacher Eleanor O’Brien said, “I love what she did. The drawing shows sensitivity and captures the emotion. It’s so evocative and it feels like you’re spying on a secret moment. I’m so excited that she won.”
Francesca received an Amazon voucher and certificate as her prize and the school received some Philosophy and Religion teaching resources.
Francesca is now working towards her GCSE Art. Although she loves art she is not sure whether she will pursue a career using her artistic talents. “I’m very interested in Criminology and as a member of the Air Cadets, I like flying so I’m not sure what I will do in the future. However, art is relaxing and looking at art makes you think.”
Francesca’s own reflections on her competition piece were submitted with the work. What follows is an extract from her reflections:
“My artwork is a water painting of the famous striped pyjamas worn by Jews during the Holocaust with a famous photo taken on V-E day drawn over the top. These contrasting photos show the devastation of the Nazis on the Jews during WW2 and the love and happiness that followed the end of the Great War.
War is a treacherous time especially when you are being persecuted for your beliefs, and yet some good can always survive it, including love. Written on a wall during the holocaust someone being wrongfully persecuted wrote ‘I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining. I believe in love even when I cannot feel it. I believe in God even when he is silent…’
My piece represents and helps people remember the bravery of victims who suffered through such devastation so that people were allowed to love and live a free life without being persecuted for what they believed in…
Anne Frank was a Jew who hid during the war and is now famously known for her diary. One quote from her diary that helped inspire my work was ‘in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” This was written by the scared and frightened 15-year-old girl and tells everyone that you can live and love even in the face of persecution.”