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Irlam's Young Artists Compete For Tokyo Trip
Aiden Lucas
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Irlam's Young Artists Compete For Tokyo Trip

Four talented young artists from Irlam & Cadishead Academy are in the running for an opportunity of a lifetime, to have their work shortlisted for display at the International High School Arts Festival. 

The Festival, held in Japan, is an event for secondary school students between ages 15 and 18 to show the world their artistic talent. It is sponsored by the International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC) and sees student representatives from each participating country selected to exhibit their artwork on the global stage. 

To select the UK representative, United Learning, the group of schools which Irlam & Cadishead Academy is part of, runs an annual art competition amongst its students. The lucky winner will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Japan with a parent or guardian to see their artwork displayed in the National Art Centre, one of Tokyo’s most highly regarded exhibition sites. Three runners-up will also have their work exhibited alongside the winner’s. 

Each year, students from across United Learning’s academies and independent schools submit entries in the hopes of being shortlisted. Among these are four girls from Irlam & Cadishead Academy, where art and design is thriving as part of the curriculum. 

For the first stage of the competition, Ella Lodge, Lily Houghton, Grace Saunders and Jessica McLaughlin will now see their artwork put to a social media vote – where school staff, peers and members of the public can ‘like’ their favourites on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@UnitedLearning). These votes will be combined with those from art teachers across the Group to select the final shortlist. 

The Irlam & Cadishead Academy pieces include:

  • Ella’s ‘My Wild Haven’, which uses stunning free motion machine embroidery to capture her own personality and love of live;
  • Lily’s ‘Hope’, which is a mosaic-inspired image that brings a modern twist to the classic stained glass design;
  • Grace’s ‘Botanical Delight’, which uses subtle brushstrokes to define the beauty and fragility of garden flowers;
  • Jessica’s first piece ‘Dejeuner’, which was inspired by still-life sketching and cookery books; 
  • Jessica’s second submission ‘Inner Sanctum’, which harks back to classic Vogue models, using acrylic on paper. 

Toni Holdsworth, Principal of Irlam & Cadishead Academy, said: 

“The International High School Arts Festival provides an incredible opportunity for young people to see their artwork exhibited alongside peers from around the world. We are excited for each of our students who have submitted their work to United Learning’s 2020 competition, which are each strong examples of their technique and imagination. 

“It is precisely these sorts of experiences we strive to provide as part of an Education with Character – nurturing students’ individual talents and challenging them to be ambitious with their aspirations. Across our school community, we are actively encouraging people to get involved in the social media vote – where they can see all the impressive entries and select their favourites.”

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