The Roche Court Educational Trust’s ARTiculation Prize is a nationally acclaimed annual event designed to promote the appreciation and discussion of art. The competition seeks to engage Sixth Form students, regardless of background or experience with Art and to develop their confidence and ability to express their opinions, thoughts and conclusions. Each student is invited to deliver a ten-minute presentation to an interested audience about a work of art, artefact or architecture of their choice. Adjudicators are asked to assess each presentation as a whole, looking at content, structure and delivery. This year, Alex Cove (U6, Xt), an Art Scholar and able Art Historian, presented on Marcel Duchamp’s seminal conceptual artwork Fountain of 1917.

Joanna Littlejohns, Head of ARTiculation, said, “Alex’s presentation was very well researched and delivered with great enthusiasm and passion. The adjudicators commented on Alex’s expansive analysis of R Mutt and praised Alex for his choice of subject matter, setting it within context and giving them new understandings of the work.”

Mr Nick Nelson, Head of History of Art, interviewed Alex about what gained from the experience:

  • What was the best part about participating in ARTiculation?

The excuse to research an awesome piece of art extensively and in a detailed way before recalling that discovered knowledge to an interested group of people. 

  • Why would you encourage future students to go in for this?

The program enhances your art history knowledge, expanding your interests whilst building the confidence needed in order to present to the public; whether it be a piece of art or public speaking in general. 

  • What aspects of presenting did you learn from the experience which you can take away with you?

I have learnt that involving humour into public speaking is definitely a good thing, especially if it is genuine and not just recited off a script. This can hopefully engage people with the artwork a little more whilst enhancing the experience. Aside from this, I have taken away the fact that I can present to a group of people and hopefully teach them something that they either did not know or hadn't thought of previously. 

  • What advice would you give future participants?

Learn your script and learn your piece. Learn everything you have found out and write down almost too much, so that when you come to speak you not only know exactly what you're saying but you can enthuse about it and explore the work in even more depth in front of an audience. 

  • Why is it important to discuss Art in a public forum? 

There has to be an awareness of what art means and what it means to state an opinion through a medium.  Getting young people talking about this is definitely the right way to go about it in order to inspire and enthuse the important message that art is one of society's most vital properties. 

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