Projects completed between 2017 - 2018
Karen Couchman is responsible for the information on this page.

Congratulations to A Level pupil Emily Eeles from King Henry VIII Comprehensive School, Abergavenny who has had her work selected for three prestigious Art Exhibitions in London Monmouthshire Decorative and Fine Arts Society, affiliated to the Arts Society, are delighted to tell you that Emily Eeles's Natural Form has been selected for exhibition at the Royal Over-Seas League, St James, London W1 from 23 January to 8 March 2018, then at the Framers Gallery, London W1 from 12th - 17th March, and then at the RBA's annual show at the Mall Galleries from (date tba) March to 31 March 2018. She has received the RBA Star Student certificate. Well done to all who have taken part.
This year 39 fellow Societies submitted 272 works from schools across the UK so the RBA council had difficult choices to make.

rsba exhibition
Emily Eeles
emilys drawing


Student: Quinnell James King Henry VIII Comprehensive School, Abergavenny ‘Daily Routine’ Pencil on Paper 81.5cm H x 59cm W
Student: Callum Roberts Monmouth Comprehensive School ‘Portrait of Andrew Cole’ Acrylic on Canvas 100cm H x 85cm W
big ben
Student: Bradley Smith Monmouth Comprehensive School ‘Big Ben Strikes’ Oil on Board 30cm H x 500cm W

Projects completed between 2014 - 2016

WW1 Quilt - a Quilt depicting World War 1 made by 130 school pupils in Monmouthshire,

This Quilt has been produced by pupils from five schools within Monmouthshire: King Henry VIII and Cantref Primary, Abergavenny; Osbaston CW School, Monmouth; Usk CW School and Caldicot Secondary.

130 pupils took part in 10 funded school-based, artist-led workshops, through the Young Arts Programme of Monmouthshire Decorative and Fine Arts Society (MDFAS) to commemorate WW1. 90 pupils were of primary school age, in Year 6 (11 years old) and 40 pupils were of secondary age, in Year 9 (14 years old).

A second quilt, produced at the same time, was sewn together in February 2016. The quilt materials and workshops have been funded by Monmouthshire Decorative and Fine Art Society with contributions from an educational grant by our parent society NADFAS, as well as a raffle. It took eighteen months to raise the money for this project. Other MDFAS funded school art workshops run alongside this.

All the schools were given an introduction to First World War themes and the significant contribution that the 3rd Monmouthshire Regiment made to the War and their heavy losses at Ypres in 1915. The pupils are really proud of their achievements and see the quilts as their legacy to the next generation. The 140 quilt squares (including panels) were made by the pupils within three weeks at the end of the Summer Term 2015. The panels were designed by the 7 artists involved; two artists worked intensively alongside teachers, teaching assistants and some parents due to the nature of the textile work and given that many pupils had not sewn before.

WW1 Quilt
WW1 Quilt 2

This quilt consists of 70 squares of nine inches each (quilters traditionally work in inches). Methods taught and used were: drawing their own design based on given themes, design methods, applique, bondaweb, drawing with sharpies, tie-dye, embroidery techniques, screen printing, hand printing with screen ink using pre-cut stencils, cutting out fabric using pre-cut stencils for patterns, selecting and free-hand cutting of fabric, sewing on of buttons, using measuring techniques to scale up drawings, felting and making couture poppies.

Themes of the quilts were: WW1 poets, WW1 animals and their role in the war; these included carrier pigeons, war dogs, glow worms in jars used as a light on the battlefield, life in the trenches, 'over the top', WW1 nurses, the Abergavenny War Memorial and couture poppies with a couture designer. It is intended for the Quilts to travel around key venues within Monmouthshire.

For further enquiries please contact us:
Every pupil that took part in the creation of the quilt was awarded a 'Certificate of Achievement' by Monmouthshire DFAS, as recognition of all their hard work and the tribute they have paid to those involved in WW1. MDFAS would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank, Councillor John Prosser, The Mayoress and Monmouthshire County Council for their great interest in our WW1 Quilt Project run in conjunction with Monmouthshire Schools. As well as their subsequent launch of the WW1 Quilt One in time for Remembrance Sunday 2015. This Quilt has been on window display at the Abergavenny One Stop Shop until mid-January 2016. The Quilt has been well received by the public.

For more information abut the quilt workshoprs click on title below....

Workshop 1 Workshops 2, 3 and 4 Animals in war
Starting up
Quilt pieces
The launch of the WW1 Quilt
a patch a patch

a patch
Work in progress

NADFAS RBA Annual Exhibition 2016

Last year work from three Secondary Schools within Monmouthshire was submitted for consideration for the NADFAS/RBA Annual Exhibition 2016 for outstanding 'A' Level students. Work was selected from King Henry VIII School, Abergavenny, Caldicot School and Monmouth Comprehensive School. Each participant is awarded a certificate.

This year no work from Monmouthshire has been selected to go forward for the exhibition.

Please see PDF NADFAS/RBA Submission

an example

Our recent success has been..

Every year the Royal Society of British Artists and NADFAS run a competition to select, promote and showcase the very best of A Level student work happening nationally.
Scholar certificate
MDFAS helped select and shortlist suitable candidates.
The work of 6 pupils was entered from Monmouthshire. We are delighted to announce that Oriane Pierrepoint, an A Level pupil from Monmouth Comprehensive School has been selected to exhibit, not just one, but two pieces of her work, out of just 23 pieces chosen from 19 students nationwide.
This will take place at the prestigious Mall Galleries, London from the 11th to 21st March, alongside the RBA Artists at their annual Exhibition in March 2015. Oriane is now studying towards a Fine Art Degree.

She is the only student from Wales selected and given the title of RBA Scholar with a certificate.
In addition, Orianne has been invited by NADFAS and the RBA to also exhibit her work in the RBA Rising Stars Exhibition currently taking place at the Lloyds Registry Gallery London from the 4th February to the 5th March

Orianne's work

This coming year Young Arts are looking to undertake the addition of a textile project to be created via Artist-led workshops in 2015 in commemoration of the Centenary of WWI
This shall engage community participation alongside the artwork of children of junior and secondary age in Monmouthshire. Currently we are only able to provide a limited number of workshops due to funding, therefore MDFAS Young Arts are always seeking to raise much needed funds in the form of raffle prizes, donations and grant applications.
Thanks to the kind support of all our members the Christmas Raffle with donations raised £ 246.00 for Young Arts projects. In addition we have been awarded £1500 from the Patricia Fay Memorial Fund to help fund our projects, kindly supported in our Grant Application by Area NADFAS West Mercia

Orianne's work
Orianne’s work

The Young Arts Programme

For over a decade the Young Arts programme has been an important focus for MDFAS helping to preserve and nurture art for the next generation
With the support from our members, MDFAS has been able to sponsor and organise free Artist-led workshops for the benefit of thousands of children in Monmouthshire. The Young Arts Programme utilises local artists to undertake creative workshops with children.

Our specialist workshops have included the creation of school building mosaics, murals and individual artwork exploring different media alongside art history for Secondary, Primary and Special Needs schools enriching curricular activities and community projects.

Bookbinding workshop
A Level students from King Henry VIII, Abergavenny,
after a bookbinding workshop with Kevin Karney

Monmouth Comprehensive School

This was a Day Workshop at Monmouth Comprehensive School: with 20 AS/A-Level and some GCSE students working with local Abergavenny Sculptor Matt Caines. Creating sculptures looking at historical sources, how to look and create with the use of wood, copper sheeting and wire etc. Matt’s wife kindly assisted on the day free of charge to help with the heavy use of tools including a Dentist’s drill!

Osbaston CiW Primary School

This was a Day workshop benefitting 40 pupils at Osbaston CW Primary School, Monmouth, With local artist Adrian Higgins and his printing press. The children created pictures for ’a scene from my spaceship’ that can be entered for an International Space competition I found on the Internet.

Space print
Space print
Adrian with his press

  Cantref Primary School, Abergavenny

This was a Day workshop benefitting 30 pupils at Cantref Primary School,Abergavenny ’Take One Picture’ is the National Gallery’s countrywide scheme for primary schools. Each year the Gallery focuses on one painting from the collection to inspire cross-curricular work in primary classrooms. Local artist Erica Pinney spent a day at the School’s Art Week. Looking closely at Bathers at Asnieres by Georges Seurat to ignite the children’s curiosity. Inspired by the painting, they explored lines of enquiry, including rivers, industry, changing landscapes, leisure and painting techniques such as pointillism later transforming the two- dimensional painting with further exploration with the use of three-dimensional structures

Bathers - Seurat

  Llantilio Pertholey CW Primary School, Abergavenny

This was a Day Clay workshop with Materials provided, for Llantilio Pertholey CW Primary School, Abergavenny: 50 children made clay tiles with animals and vegetation from observation with artist Kathy Fleen Doran from South Wales Potters.
Equipment was loaned from a school in Malvern for the event. These were to then be painted, lacquered and possibly assembled as a mural.



Bird Leopard

Projects completed between 2011 - 2013
Karen Couchman is responsible for the information on this page.

Two puppetsA Puppet Workshop at Osbaston Primary School
On 2nd May 2013 Jennifer Cope held a puppet workshop at Osbaston for some pupils from Years 5 and 6. At least 20 children had a wonderful, creative day making puppets using all sorts of old bits of material, pipe cleaners, newspaper, knitting wool, string and foam. Some had a distinctly Roman feel about them, some were ghostly while others were verging on fashion design. It was all the more worthwhile as the children had been unable to go on a school trip.




Cantref Primary School, Abergavenny
Jane Rees-Parfitt gave a pottery workshop at Cantref school just before the end of term. Designs were loosely based on Roman articles found at Caerleon. Jane has her own kiln and so took the pottery home for firing.

Trellech workshop Trellech Primary
Three very different artists gave a workshop at Trellech Primary looking at landscape, over three days. The children were asked to paint or draw a picture on a postcard for an exhibition being held in Trellech in aid of Art4Africa.
Karen Couchman got the children to think of African landscapes, animals and jungles working with paint.
Helena Jay showed them how to use colour pencils depicting animals
Jennifer Cope got them to use all sorts of materials to produce very exciting textured drawings.
Trellech workshop

Usk workshop
Mosaic in progressUsk Primary :
Mosaic Workshop with Susie Strange

The Monmouthshire Decorative and Fine Arts Society (MDFAS) sponsored the Muralist and Mosaicist, Susan Strange to produce a mosaic for the entrance Hall at Usk Primary School. About 30 pupils were selected to help with the designing and preparation of the project, and other pupils who passed by and wanted to help, were encouraged to take part in the final placing of the pieces.
The design centres round the School motto ‘Believe, Achieve, Succeed’, and incorporates the School logo, Usk Castle, and animals and trees to reflect counryside around the school.
Headmaster Jared Nolan, is delighted with the result, as are the children, who had an opportunity to work with a professional Artist, and also to work as a team. Susie and her husband are now based near Ipswich, but live as much as possible on their boat. She still has friends and family in Monmouthshire, so we were lucky to have her. This mosaic is one of a number of projects that MDFAS sponsors each year in Monmouthshire schools.

Usk workshop

Drawing workshop
Osbaston drawing workshop
Osbaston Primary : Drawing Workshop with Helena Jay Osbaston Workshop

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