North East artist now subject of A-level question

A NORTH East artist and lecturer has become the subject of a question in a national exam being sat by his students.

Artist Paul Harvey at The Biscuit Factory with his work
Artist Paul Harvey at The Biscuit Factory with his work

A NORTH East artist and lecturer has become the subject of a question in a national exam being sat by his students.

Paul Harvey teaches art and design at The Creative Studios, based at the Queen Alexandra Campus of TyneMet College in North Shields.

As an experienced artist, Newcastle-based Paul is used to seeing his work exhibited across the country. But now he is in the frame in a 2012 A-level paper.

The question, which appears in the “critical and contextual studies” section from exam board Edexcel, revolves around the controversial banning of Paul’s painting of Charles Saatchi from the window of the Artspace Gallery in London in 2010.

The reason given for the removal of the painting, which depicted a halo of cheese around the millionaire advertising mogul and art patron, and a sheep at his feet, was that it was considered “too controversial for the area”.

At the time, Paul said of the removal: “I did it to make Saatchi look friendly and human. It’s a ludicrous decision.”

Paul, who is a programme leader for HND graphic design, joined the college initially as a part-time lecturer when it was North Tyneside College, in 1986.

He said: “One of the great advantages for any student is to be taught by practitioners working at a high level, as this gives the students a real understanding of how the creative industries work.

“Being featured in the A-level exam is extremely helpful to our students taking the paper as it gives them access to a primary source for their research and an opportunity to speak directly to the artist, thus assuring greater understanding of the question and a better opportunity to achieve high grades.”

He added: “The Creative Studios has supported my practice, which includes a major show at Edinburgh College of Art in the summer, as they appreciate what benefits a successful artist can bring to teaching and learning.”

In 2001, Paul joined the Stuckism art movement. Stuckism is a radical art movement founded in London in 1999. It promotes figurative artwork, of real objects, people and places, rather than conceptual art which focuses on the representation of ideas.

Paul founded a Newcastle branch of Stuckism, and in 2002, he curated the show Stuck in Newcastle and was the joint winner of the Stuckists’ Real Turner Prize Show.

His most recent show was at the National Trust property Wallington Hall in Northumberland.

Paul exhibited his work to create “A Stuckist Room”, which consisted of Paul’s paintings in response to the Pre-Raphaelite painter, William Bell Scott.

As a result of being featured in the exam paper, Paul is now being invited into other colleges in the North East to speak to art students as part of their A-level research.

Denise Bolton, head of Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College, said: “We are delighted to have Paul as a member of our teaching staff.

“Our art students are given an insight in the disciplines of art and fine art.

“Having Paul who has real-life experience adds to the quality of teaching and learning that we provide here.”

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