MPs moved to tears by Gomersal school pupils
MONKS at the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield continue to unearth art treasures destined for auction.
Their latest find is a painting, believed to be by the 17th century master Luca Giordano, of a scene depicting a Madonna and Child with St Elizabeth and an infant St John the Baptist.
It is earmarked for the monks’ next annual auction in June.
The baroque painting, which has hung on site for 80 years, is to go under the hammer and follows artworks by the French painter Maurice Levis and a bronze casting by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle.
In a magnificent frame, the painting measures 4ft 6ins by 3ft and was the property of Huyshe Yeatman-Biggs, successively Bishop of Southwark, Worcester and Coventry. It was given to the Community by his daughter, Margaret Yeatman-Biggs, in 1936.
And on behalf of the monks an art expert has examined the piece. He believes the hand of the master can be discerned in the work, adding: “If significant role in education and it’s critical that they are given the funding, support and attention they deserve.”
Gomersal Primary’s young Arts Council had no problem getting this point across during the APPG meeting, which was chaired by Sharon Hodgson MP.
Addressing the meeting, William Nicholson explained why he joined the council, saying: “I applied to be part of the Arts Council because I wanted to discuss my ideas and share my feelings.
“In the Arts Council we have already done a lot considering we are only a year old, but we still have plans - big plans!
“We would like to continue to set a high standard for the arts in this school. We would like to continue to give children a voice in all we do Organiser of the auction, Fr John Gribben, with the painting of Madonna and Child thought to be by 17th century rococo artist Luca Giordano you could paint like this, why would you be content to copy someone else’s work?”
Fr John Gribben, a member of the Community for nearly 40 years, has organised four previous fundraising auctions and hopes this year’s will because children have great ideas.”
Matilda Finn told the meeting why asking the other children’s opinions on what should be taught is so important.
She said: “This means that every child in our school has a voice and that voice is heard. Our children are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination to help to improve our creative curriculum.
“It allows children to talk about the things they love.”
Gomersal Primary champions the arts subjects and recognises how, alongside reading, writing and maths, they play a significant part in education.
Mandy Barrett, a specialist art teacher at the school who attended along with headteacher Melanie Cox, said: “We met Tracy Brabin in the central lobby in Parliament. She be his swansong. His brother George – a well-known Belfast auctioneer – will handle lots on the day.
Fr John said: “We have been given several lots which are likely to sell for between £500 and £1,000 each. This painting, even if it isn’t by the master, stands in a league of its own. We have been greatly tempted to send it to a professional auctioneer and I have agonised over this. In the end I felt I owed it to George and all our volunteers to put it into our own auction.
“This is a very beautiful painting and I have a great love of it so we will not sell it lightly. If the bids are not high enough we will be very happy to keep it at home.”
For more on the auction, visit www.mirfield.org.uk/auction or call 01924 494318. spent time reassuring our children and gave advice about speaking in debates.
“She listened carefully to the children and was able to discuss why she believes art is important in education due to her own experiences at school.
“During the APPG meeting, our children listened carefully to the other speakers.
“Eva was brave enough to ask a question to the BBC journalist Branwen Jeffreys about funding cuts and the decline of arts in secondary schools.
“Some people in the room were moved to tears while listening to our children speak.
“There can’t be many nine and 10-year-olds that can say they moved politicians to tears in Parliament.”