The Detweiler Art Prize, which takes place every year, is an exciting exhibition of work by Bedford School students, presented by the Bedford School Creative Arts Faculty. Prizes are awarded in four different categories: Art, Music, Drama and Creative Writing, and each year it is given a theme. This year the theme was ‘Inside Outside’ and, as always, all entries were of an extremely high standard.

The art competition is named after Dr Alan Detweiler, an enthusiastic and passionate supporter of both education and the Arts in general. Until his death a few years ago, he always made the trip to Bedford and helped judge the prizes which he generously provided. This year, we were delighted to welcome artist Andrew Gillespie in school to take on the difficult task of selecting winners in each of the categories.


Our winners in the art category were Upper Sixth Former, Ben Herbert, for his atmospheric print of a derelict interior of a building in the 2D category, while Upper Sixth Former, Benson Chan won the 3D category with a small, intricate and detailed room interior. Austin Ward (Remove Form), Henry Flatt (Remove Form), Mathew Stewart (Lower Sixth), Alfie Elston (Upper Sixth) and Trent Abraham (Upper Sixth) all received Highly Commended awards for their entries.


Three shortlisted compositions were performed on the night. Lower Sixth Former Flik Feng wrote a piece for violin, cello, piano and organ, Remove Former Joba Thomas wrote for clarinet and piano and Upper Sixth Former Alex Watson wrote for solo piano. All were responding to the ‘Inside Outside’ brief in different ways. Alex Watson came out as the winner with his piece, which explored the concept of being inside and outside tonality. Flik Feng was placed second.


Drama entries were highly creative this year and the shortlisted entries were particularly well crafted in terms of writing. Remove Former Harry Hine’s monologue reflected on the dark psyche of human nature and brought to the surface some taboo issues. Lower Sixth Former Ishaan Mukerji won with a very moving monologue about a boy who waits at home for his father one night, only to discover him dead in a nearby street. Ishaan acted out the monologue to the audience, revealing the depth of character beautifully.  Head of Academic Drama, Mrs Antoinette Keylock, said, “I am always moved by what the boys write and it is a privilege to read such compelling pieces of drama.”

Creative Writing  

Boys from all the cohorts were invited to submit a piece of writing, in any form, that related to the theme ‘Inside Outside’. Over 100 entries were received this year and the short-listed works were all creative, well-crafted and vivid.  Some boys chose to write short stories, while others offered poems and pieces of non-fiction. The runner-up was Fourth Former, Will Roberts and the winner was Remove Former, Krish Nair.  Both wrote vivid and compelling stories which explored psychological aspects of the human condition in a sophisticated manner.


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