An art student mentored by Wolverhampton Art Gallery's curatorial team is preparing to take part in a prestigious national public speaking competition.

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Abigail Whittle from City of Wolverhampton College has benefitted from weekly sessions on interpreting, writing and speaking about art, at the Lichfield Street gallery - including tips from award winning volunteer, Dr Andrew Yarnold.

The 17 year old will now represent the art gallery and college at the regional finals of ARTiculation.

The UAL Extended Diploma Art and Design student, who hopes to move onto an animation degree later this year, will be presenting a ten minute talk at the West Midlands Regional Final, at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, on Wednesday 28 February.

Abigail has chosen to speak about the artist Sonia Boyce and her work 'Black Female Hairstyles' which the art gallery purchased with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Boyce was part of the influential BLK Art Group which began in Wolverhampton in 1979.

City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: "Working with young people in the city and developing their skills enables them to strive towards excellence and reaching their future goals."

Abigal will be competing against six other students for the chance to go through to the Grand Final at Clare College, University of Cambridge, in March this year.

She said: "I chose Sonia Boyce because her work 'Black Female Hairstyles' really resonated with me and showed a positive representation of black women in the media and in art, and I'm really excited to get through to the regional finals."

ARTiculation is a national event designed to promote the appreciation and discussion of art, by challenging students to give a short presentation on a work of art, artefact or piece of architecture of their choice. The initiative is designed to stimulate students' interest and understanding of art, while developing individual thinking, observation, research, language and presentation skills.

  • released: Thursday 22 February, 2018