July 4, 2021

Woolf’s ‘The Waves’ Inspires Contemporary Cross-Disciplinary Exhibition

Creativity is encouraged in all forms at Leighton Park. This term, as led by Resident Artist, Ella Shepard, students across Year 7 to Upper Sixth, have responded to a shared stimulus through their chosen outlets.

‘The Waves’ is a mesmerising, cross-disciplinary exhibition, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s celebrated novel. The elements, which have been created in numerous co-curricular clubs over the summer, now form an eleven-minute video, exploring the work’s themes through Art, Music, Dance and Poetry.

Spanning over different year groups, the project aimed to focus on inspiration, merging media and responsive ways of making. The Waves is deemed to be Woolf’s most experimental piece of work. Similarly, many students also embraced this alternative way of working.

“Originally, I set out to curate an interactive performance piece for a live audience, however, due to Covid-19 restrictions I had to adapt my outcome and bring it together digitally instead.” reflected Ella.

“Over the weeks of experimentation, we listened to the book, explored the themes of consciousness, metamorphosis, fluidity and rhythm, and discussed ways in which the written language inspires decisions which cross-over the different disciplines. We asked questions like how can dance, music and art interrogate space? How can music production connect with performance? How can drawing become sculptural?”

She continued, “The Waves is a commentary on the passing of time and its’ relentless onward movement. Woolf believed that time was not a definable constant, but a fluid series of experiences, which give the impression of coherency.”

“The book deals with the instability of the moment through fragmented language, duality of imagery and symbolism of water in movement. As the project developed the language of line, space, shape, the handling of the material and texture became important for all groups. Textured sounds and the percussion of nature, the reflective surface of metals, the sensory experience of moulding and shaping objects, where they take on their own persona.”

“All in all, this project brought together parallels of making in all senses, it is layered in experience and forms a complete cycle of creativity, where each discipline mimics another.”

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