8 June 2023
“In a world filled with noise, art speaks volumes. It has the ability to connect people, regardless of their background, race or belief. It is a universal language that can bridge gaps between cultures, generations and communities. Through art, we can create dialogue, understanding and empathy.”
Peckham resident Dean Stockton, better known as D*Face, is a London-born, street artist who is recognised as one of the most prolific contemporary urban artists of his generation. The irony of the fact that he didn’t get a GCSE in Art or Design wasn’t lost on him, as he opened the Annual Summer Exhibition at Sydenham High School for Girls last week. In his opening speech, he spoke to gathered pupils, parents and staff about the power of the Arts as a medium to create positive change and initiate dialogue through connecting people.
D*Face emphasised to the students whose art and design work was being exhibited, that creative expression comes in many different forms, and of the importance of students finding their voice and not being afraid to express it. The Sydenham High School Annual Summer Exhibition is a celebration of art and design work from across the school, and particularly the final pieces that GCSE and A Level students have created. Parents, students and staff are invited to view the exhibits alongside work from the younger year groups over canapes and drinks.
“With your art you have the power to put a smile (or a frown) on the face of someone you have never met. You can change their day. With your creativity you have the ability to bring about social, political and global change.”
With a style of his own that uses pop art imagery reminiscent of the work of Roy Lichtenstein or Andy Warhol, the work of D*Face is truly recognisable. Since setting up his gallery, StolenSpace, in Shoreditch, D*Face has exhibited his work all over the world, and designed album covers for the likes of Christina Aguilera, and even a 50th anniversary Penguin book cover. Head of Sydenham High School, Antonia Geldeard said
“Our school ethos is all about empowering our girls to feel confident in forging their own path in life, in whichever field they choose. The successful career of D*Face is an example of doing just that. We are so pleased that he has found time in his busy schedule to open our exhibition which celebrates our young creative talent and the importance that we place on art and design in our curriculum. The quality of the work produced by our A Level and GCSE students has been exceptional again this year. I hope the students will take inspiration from his opening speech.”
About Sydenham High School
Sydenham High School, GDST, is an independent day school for girls aged 4-18 years. The school was founded in 1887, becoming one of the last schools to be opened by the Girls’ Public Day School Trust.
The school’s original Anglo Saxon motto, ‘Nyle ye drede’, means ‘fear nothing’ and underpins all that we do. Sydenham High is selective and diverse, welcoming girls with wide-ranging talents and backgrounds into a close community that is large enough to offer choice and flexibility but compact enough to ensure that no girl is overlooked.