Art & MakerSpace

Inspiration, imagination, creativity

Why invest in the Art & MakerSpace?

The John Palmer Centre (JPC) was opened in 1996 and for 20 years has served the School very well. It encapsulates our belief in a broad and rich curriculum for our middle school students and artistic and design opportunities for our older students at GCSE and A Level.  Girls thrive in the creative arts and move on to a variety of wonderful careers as expressive artists, art curators, dealers and teachers.

Within Create the Future lies a new vision for the JPC to enhance it further – the Art&MakerSpace Campaign. We are delighted to set out our plan which will include an extension, allowing us to adapt some of the spaces and offer a new gallery space for changing exhibitions.  We will add a textiles studio bringing Textiles to the JPC from its current somewhat ‘hidden’ location behind the Dining Room, extend the photographic studio and provide a proper, dedicated modern studio for sixth form students which will replace the current informal extension room.  The culinary arts will also move to the Art & MakerSpace, with Home Economics being relocated to make way for the CATalyst.

The key benefits

  • A redesigned DT space
  • A new photographic studio and darkroom, embracing digital photography
  • Connected teaching - textiles , History of Art and the Culinary Arts move into the fold
  • A dedicated 6th Form Studio
  • Art History teaching will be in the centre of all things artistic
  • Permanent exhibition space to showcase girls’ work
  • Space to host Artists in Residence to enrich the teaching for all girls
  • Increased involvement in the Royal Academy Schools and Saatchi Gallery Programmes
  • Space to welcome University Art Departments and showcase MA courses
  • The chance to participate as a Surrey Open Studio

What will it look like?

We are delighted that Planning Permission for The Art & Makerspace has now been obtained. There will be opportunities for your support to be recognised against teaching rooms in The Art & MakerSpace.   If you'd like a sneak preview of the plans and to discuss your support do contact Pippa Carte, Director of Marketing and Development.

Join us on the journey!

We need your support to make The Art & MakerSpace a reality.  The total project budget is c.£1.5m and we need to raise £0.5m from the School community, alumnae and parents.  Please consider your support, our fundraising campaign has begun and we hope with community contributions we will be able to make The Art & MakerSpace a reality.  The timing of the build is dependent on financial resources and the commitment of donations in support will accelerate delivery.   Whilst the Coronavirus health crisis has had an impact our planned timings we hope to start work on The Art & Makerspace in the Summer of 2021.

There's something primal about it. It's innate, the need to make marks. That's why, when you're a child, you scribble. 

Jenny Saville

Why the focus on arts?

We are all creative and arts are a significant part of the compulsory curriculum from Years 7-9 (Upper 3 to Upper 4).  The Art & MakerSpace Campaign will allow us to enhance the JPC - a place where girls love to spend time – creating a space that will fire up the girls’ imaginations, ignite their interests and allow them to explore their creativity.  Their rational, logical brain can take a breather and they can observe and create, expressing themselves through clay, silk, photographic print, wood, digital design, watercolours or simply a pencil.  We are proud advocates of the fundamental drawing skills that underpin the work of all successful artists. 

The creative arts are of intrinsic value to our lives, they enrich our souls and give us huge satisfaction.  Imagine the achievement of creating a wire sculpture modelled on Giacommeti then photographing, editing and creating a line drawing of your creation.  Or, using paints and materials, to explore textures then delving into the 16th century to explore how artists used brush-strokes to create depth and perspective.

We want every girl to have the opportunity to develop her creativity in this new creative hub of art, textiles and photography - whether she moves on into the creative industries, or through refining her problem solving skills becomes an entrepreneur of the future.  

Why now?

  • We need space! The JPC was built for a three-form entry school and we have been four-form entry since 2006.
  • Textiles are inspired by fine art, photography and fashion are linked, design technology influences ceramics - the subjects connect and our spaces will too!
  • Photography shoots are spilling out into the main studio.
  • Digital photography and art present a completely new discipline since the JPC was conceived and space is needed for our Apple Macs and IT tools.
  • Girls’ canvas sizes are restricted due to the display space – they want to 'go large'!
  • The 6th Form ‘Shed’ for private art work is well-loved and well-used but is small and can be chilly.

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. 

Pablo Picasso

Naming opportunities Donation level Status
The Sixth Form Art Atelier  £50,000  
The Materials Studio  £25,000 Reserved
The Culinary Arts Studio £25,000  
The Fine Art Studio £25,000  
The Photo Studio and Dark Room £20,000  
The Design & Technology Studio £20,000  
The Ceramics Studio £20,000  
The History of Art Study £20,000 Reserved