Students worked on art inspired by hidden world

New Horizons students at blackShed gallery in Robertsbridge
New Horizons students at blackShed gallery in Robertsbridge

Last weekend saw the launch of brilliant new work by Hastings artist Tom Banks at the blackShed gallery in Robertsbridge.

The exhibition titled Through Windows will run until September 1.

Tom spent his childhood on a council estate in Hastings. His neighbourhood had a subconscious backstory for him which cultivated an obsession with the suburban homes he walked by on a daily basis. Tom paints the night when things are still and colour barely exists. He is observing the ordinary while drawing attention to natural beauty in the mundane.

During the 12 weeks leading up to the exhibition, Tom and blackShed curator Kenton Lowe, Tom Penney and Martha Tanner worked with staff and a group of 16 students from New Horizons School in Hastings. This is a school dedicated to supporting students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties.

Kenton said:“The project’s aims were to examine the possibilities, ideas and experiences of a group of secondary school pupils detached from mainstream education.” Using references from Tom’s own practice, a series of workshop activities were held to explore a few fundamental artistic principles in Tom’s work, and in collaboration with the students, an extraordinary piece of interactive artwork has been created.

Tom’s focus on the enigmatic power in what’s ‘hidden’ has been flipped by the students as they invite us to look through those windows beyond the net curtains. The students have playfully re-interpreted Tom’s ideas to create a new piece of work which now accompanies this exhibition. The blackShed Gallery’s programme is supported by the Arts Council, Rother District Council and Sussex Arts Partnership as well as receiving help from the Phone Doctor, Hastings and the Carphone Warehouse. Further information can be found on www.theblackshedgallery.org.uk.