Arabella dorman sat with our upper school students

Creative Artist talk from Arabella Dorman

On Thursday 23 January 2020 award-winning war artist Arabella Dorman visited Upper School to deliver an incredible presentation as part of the Creative Artist Programme.

For the past decade, Arabella has been working in Iraq and Afghanistan and more recently with refugees in Lesbos, Calais and Dunkirk. In her talk she focused on the realities of war, its immediate impacts and long-term consequences.

Her presentation was deeply moving and the students heard about how her experiences of war led her to create such beautiful art.

2nd Year student Luca Massara said:

‘Arabella Dorman stood out to all of us for her bravery. She put into practice the healing power that art has the ability to nurture in all of our hearts.

She made it clear that art is a tool for all who have humanity in them. Mrs Dorman’s talk built empathy for the great lengths to which many fellow humans must go to survive, regardless of the dangers they and their families may face.

She reminded us all of how fortunate we are to be in this country and in such a nurturing environment as The Royal Ballet School.

She inspired me and many others to remember the power that art has to capture a subject in a personal and unique way that has the ability to make us smile or cry.’

2nd Year student Clark Eselgroth followed by saying:

‘Arabella Dorman’s perception of life through art changed the way a lot of the students viewed the refugee crisis.

I saw the installations that she had put on and it made me feel so many different emotions. I felt like this was an obvious parallel to ballet, as there have been pieces before like Crystal Pite’s ‘Flight Pattern’ that depict the refugee crisis through ballet and they have been very successful in engaging the audience and spreading the word. So of course when she told first-hand stories about actually being there on those beaches and in the war-affected towns, it was hard not to get completely captivated.

Hearing about how she used her own experiences as well as talent to create something so uplifting, I felt that I could be doing so much more. for something that I don’t even know that much about. I think it sent the message that if you can help in any way, small or large, it is completely worth it.’ It would be a treat to invite Mrs Dorman back to the school to do some type of collaboration again.’

Find out more on Arabella Dorman’s website.