Creating Waves in Lockdown: Previous Prem Resident Artists making International Headlines again

Please note all photographs  in this story were taken Pre-Covid

With lockdowns and restrictions continuing to impact most of the world, Prem’s teachers remain committed to combining their educational expertise with the wealth of knowledge they gained during these last periods of online learning. Experience plus diligent and methodical planning, ensuring that our students have daily online access to high quality,  joyful and effective learning. So as our staff here at Prem use their own creative thinking to ensure our students are engaged with their learning, it’s heartening to look at some of the critical acclaim and notoriety that some of Prem’s ARThailand guests have achieved in recent weeks.

It is rumoured that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in lockdown, no small achievement for any artist wanting to respond positively during a difficult time, but just as passionate about their own art’s practice or commitment to creative research, we are delighted to share some of the international acclaim our creative practitioners have been receiving recently:

Two years ago as part of our literacy week Ben Harrison the Artistic Director of Grid Iron worked with Middle School students to create a brand new piece of immersive, promenade theatre. Our students guided the audience around Prem’s auditorium and used sound, light, movement and storytelling to tell an imagined history of the building and the characters that lurked inside. At the same time as creating this show with our students, Harrison was making use of the environment and resources of our ARThailand residency to adapt the story ‘Doppler’ for stage.Production development now finished and the challenges forced upon Grid Iron via the global pandemic notwithstanding, it’s fantastic to read in the national press how the work that started at Prem has been celebrated in the arts world. See the review in the Scotsman newspaper here and the youtube film of Doppler ‘the story so far’ is here

It’s been a few years since Artist, Animator and Film Director Gabriele Tesfaye worked with Grade 5 students to produce a ‘stop-motion’ animation that focused on blending real-world issues with folklore and mysticism. Tesfaye used painting and animation as a way to create stories that explore issues relating to Human Trafficking and gave our student a unique lens with which to develop their literacy skills. In recent weeks, and several critically acclaimed projects later, Gabrielle’s thoughts and ideas relating to ‘cultural stereotypes’ were at the centre of this BBC news article here.

Meanwhile, in just the last few days Dr. Anil Seth, a keynote speaker in our recent community TOK event has been awarded a grant of 2.43 million Euros by the European Research Council,  to lead on research into the nature of consciousness. You can read about the grant award here and you can watch his brilliant TedTalk on the brain and consciousness here

Prem would like to extend our congratulations to all of our previous ARThailand partners. We recognise the achievements and impact that they are making and have made in their respective, creative fields and to the legacy that their collaborations leave upon our student body and wider community. With plans underway for more online engagements in the near future and a list of applications from a diverse and talented pool of practitioners for next academic year, we remain proud and humbled by the valuable contributions these individuals make to our commitment to joyful and effective learning.

Alex Soulsby
Creative Director ARThailand/Prem International School

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