Sixth Former, Roma's talk at the National Gallery was described as ‘captivating’.

Articulation Prize Regional Heat – Roma Pablia Outstanding, sophisticated “Epiphany in Tiffany’s’ Presentation at The Lightbox Gallery.

Roma Pablia presented an ‘outstanding, sophisticated’ talk on the artwork Equalis Pi, 1982 by Jean Michel Basquiat in the competition Articulation Prize, 2024 at the Lightbox Gallery, London on the 16th of January. Roma succeeded in winning the Chigwell art department selection process and went forward to the Regional Heat. In this heat, six other schools were competing and all of them would have made worthy winners on the day. Each talk was well-researched and illuminated the power of art and how it is relevant in the society we live in. Roma delivered her talk enthusiastically and spoke eloquently. The adjudicator on the day was Harriet Loffler, curator of the Women’s Art Collection, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge. She gave feedback on Roma’s talk and first praised all the participants for getting to the Regional Heat which was an admirable achievement in itself with so many schools applying each year. Furthermore, she commented on the start of Roma’s presentation as being ‘fantastic’ and she particularly liked her opening line, ‘An Epiphany in Tiffany’s’ and said it was a line she would remember and take with her. She described Roma’s talk as ‘captivating’ and commented on the fact that Roma was quite happy with the complexity of the artwork she chose which posed complex questions. Additionally, she commented that Roma presented an artwork which is somewhat unresolved in a space where it hangs in Tiffany’s New York flagship posing a level of ambiguity. Roma addressed these points within her talk. This is a highly sophisticated level of appreciation of an artwork she stated. She also said it was impressive to discuss the lifespan of an artwork and discuss the value of art in the art market. Overall, Roma’s hard work, research and commitment to this competition is commendable and she represented the school admirably. She can be very proud of her achievement in public speaking which will be a skill she can develop more and more.

Articulation Prize is the National Gallery’s nationwide public speaking initiative for young people aged between 17 and 19, designed to promote the appreciation and discussion of visual culture. A programme of activities takes place annually across the United Kingdom. Candidates are asked to deliver a 10-minute presentation on a work of art, architecture, or an artefact of their choice in front of an audience and adjudicator at museums and galleries. Adjudicators select one speaker to go through. The next stage, with the Prize culminating annually at a Grand Final which unites all regional finalists.

The competition encourages young people to communicate confidently and to express their ideas and opinions on art. All young people who take part in the initiative are invited to join the Articulation Alumni programme. Alumni are given opportunities to gain work experience speak in public, write publications and join training and mentoring schemes. Sebastian Armstrong who presented his talk on The Fairy Fellers Master Stroke by Richard Dadd has recently been given a paid opportunity to deliver his talk to other schools as they were so impressed with his talk at the 2023 Articulation Heat that he was part of.

As an art teacher and mentor for this prestigious event, I am always impressed at the depth and scope of these talks. The pupils gain so much confidence, knowledge and appreciation for art and its value in the world by giving and listening to a range of talks which link into global events past and present. I will be running a club at lunchtime for any pupil wanting to begin their Articulation journey and prepare for next year’s completion. They must be in either Year 11, 12 or 13. The competition is about taking part and being part of the journey and process of developing a sophisticated talk and being part of a large 1,400 cohort of entries each year. A fantastic event to be part of.

Written by: Sharon Wales, Art Teacher

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