Ancestry, family and art
We all know the old adage 'blood is thicker than water', which in the popular imagination means that familial ties are the strongest form of loyalty. However, this is not the only interpretation. In another sense, blood shed together in battle could create a stronger bond than an arbitrary family connection. So, can we choose our own family? Or are our most significant relationships determined by our heritage? Can we break the bonds of birth or are they an intrinsic part of our outlook?
Discussing this in front of Orazio Gentileschi's 'Finding of Moses' and providing examples of art beyond our collection, Articulation Alumni Scarlett Allen, Luca Ford and Eesen Nullatamby present their personal reactions to these questions and critical problems whilst thinking about the story of Moses, who turned against his adoptive culture and family.
Articulation is a public speaking initiative for young people designed to promote the appreciation and discussion of visual culture.
Scarlett Allen is a student at Salisbury 6th Form College and is currently studying Fine Art, Psychology, English, and Biology. She took part in the Articulation Prize 2022 speaking on the death mask, 'L’Inconnue de la Seine'. She won her Regional Final at the New Art Centre, Roche Court Sculpture Park, before finally being awarded second place at the Grand Final at the National Gallery adjudicated by Neil MacGregor. Scarlett says, "it was an incredible experience, allowing me to embrace my passion for the piece 'L’Inconnue de la Seine', whilst discussing the social and historical influences on how women are viewed in media, literature and art."
Luca Ford is a deferred student at Oxford, beginning in autumn 2022. She previously studied Art History, English and History at A-level at Harris Westminster Sixth Form Academy. She took part in the Articulation Prize 2020, reaching the London Regional Heats. She spoke at the V&A on Barnett Newman's 'Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III' (1967) through the lens of Fascist propaganda and Kantian ethics. As part of the Alumni Network, Luca previously did an online tour of the National Gallery for the audiences of the Grand Final 2021 and has contributed responses for National Gallery outreach.
Eesen Nullatamby attends King Edward VI Grammar School (Chelmsford, Essex), where he studies Philosophy, History, Economics, and Art. His Articulation experience began by winning a London Regional Heat in 2022 at the Whitechapel Gallery which was adjudicated by Dr Richard Martin. His presentation was on the 'Persistence of Memory' (1931) by Salvador Dali. Eesen went on the London Final at the V&A, adjudicated by Alison Cole, where he placed third. Eesen says that "speaking at these venues were very exciting experiences and I look forward to further opportunities with the Articulation Alumni Network."