A Harrow Journey - Is, at the moment, a kind of journal and a work in progress. It is a response, through drawing, to experiences I have had working and living at Harrow School. The drawings shown here have been made in the last 4 years. By the time they will first go on show, it will be five years from start to finish which, quite conincidentally, is the same length of time a boy spends at Harrow. The 'Harrow Journey" is both mine and theirs, albeit a journey in which I feel more an observer than a participant. 

 

This was not conceived as a project in the early stages, but as time has gone on, and the number of drawings has built up, themes and narratives have emerged leading to a more coherent body of work.

 

The themes are loosely divided into sections: 'Into the Wilderness', 'Black Tie - a rite of passage', 'Performance', 'Silence', 'Down Time', 'Physical Energy',  'Past and Present', and 'Space'.

Reviewing the images, I see the freedom experienced in youth, and the first confident steps of adulthood, maybe in imitation only, but as an essential part of the rite of passage that a 13 year old experiences through to 18, and to the time of their eventual departure. I also see the patterns of behaviour that will be repeated throughout adulthood and often experienced for the first time at this stage of life. It is a wonderful time - rarely alone, supported by others, vigorous, thoughts of the present and future, hopeful, challenged and mainly optimistic. 

 

All drawings were made in situ, as a response to unfolding scenes. Some made very quickly and others seen over a sustained period, up to 3 hours. A few pieces only, in the 'Into the Wilderness' section, are larger, studio made works.

 

A selection of this work, alongside studio pieces, will be on exhibition at The Old Speech Room Gallery, Harrow School, November 2016. This will be followed by an exhibition in central London in 2017. 

 

Simon Page