About this classroom resource


Capturing our Collections: Art Competition 2021-2022

In October 2021, The National Archives Education Service launched our first National Art Competition called ‘Capturing our Collections’, which closed at the end of February 2022.

We wanted to encourage the entrants to think about the importance of using historical documents in exploring the stories of people or social and political themes in history. We therefore challenged our entrants to create their own artwork inspired by documents from our collection – such as letters, posters, photographs, newspapers, census records, maps, reports, wax seals or written testimonies. Potential documents could, for example, be found in the related resources to the right.

We gave them three potential themes to respond to: Equity, Freedom, and Belonging.

We hoped that the entries would show a connection to one or more National Archives document(s), show intent and purpose, cover a mix of media and forms from 2D to 3D – and would inspire!

We received over 120 entries. The overwhelming majority came from Key stage 3 and a few from Key stage 2. Therefore, our prizes have been awarded to six entries within Key stage 3 and one entry from Key stage 2. We want to say a huge thank you to all who entered; it was a real privilege to receive your work. We also want to thank our wonderful guest judges:

  • Lynn Pomfrett, fine arts graduate and postgraduate in film, has had a highly successful career in costumes, working on many BAFTA- and Oscar-nominated  and winning productions. She re-trained as an art teacher and has since worked extensively across state schools in South East London.
  • Gilroy Brown has worked in education for over 40 years, including 10 years as head teacher of an inner city primary school, 11 years as a school advisor, and as principal of an all-ages free school.
  • Sarah Dickinson trained at Camberwell College of the Arts in textile design and painting. Her main interest is landscape painting in oils on location. Abstraction and colour are her focus, along with a special interest in drawing.

All of the judges agreed that it was an inspirational experience and very difficult to choose the final winners. We are showcasing the winners above along with shortlisted entries. You can read some of the judges’ comments on the winning entries by clicking on them.

Each of the winners will receive a £30 Amazon voucher to buy art materials and a goody bag from The National Archives shop.

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