Acclaimed artist gives students a masterclass

Budding artists at Wilmslow High School have had the privilege of being taught and inspired by an internationally acclaimed artist.

Michael Browne visited the school this week to host a seminar and two day workshop with a group of thirty year 12 and year 13 students, who had the opportunity to learn some brand new skills.

Students were firstly introduced to Michael's style and practice in a two hour lecture during which he went through his work in chronological order. The students then took part in a two day practical workshop under the guidance of Michael and completed a canvas demonstrating technique and skill in oils, which many of the students were using for the first time.

Art teacher Adam Hayley explained "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students to gain first hand tutelage from a contemporary master of oil paints.

"Michael challenged our students perception of celebrity image and to create symbolic reference to traditional European painting, similar to his own practice.

"I'm so proud of them as they have far exceeded what I wanted them to achieve, it is fantastic."

Year 13 student Luc Wilkinson commented "It has been great, I've really loved it. Michael is obviously very talented. He is a giant in the world of art so it has been a great opportunity to see how such a famous artist makes up these amazing pictures. It is something to aspire to and he has come round and helped us all individually."

Michael had flown in from Milan, where he is working on an anti-racism project featuring Mario Balotelli to spend time at the high school. He brought his latest work with him to show the students which is based upon Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio and features world famous boxers in a humble setting.

Speaking about the student's work, Michael said "I like the freshness of their ideas. Everyone is dead keen.

"People are getting to use their own inspirations and interests and see things in their way. It's all about how to put ideas together and for young artists to focus on what interests them in their own lives and use it as a reason to paint, because in the end it is not about illustration it's about painting because they like the subject or are inspired to communicate something."

Michael, who was brought up in Moss Side, Manchester, is the creator of "The Art of The Game" which depicts Eric Cantona as Jesus Christ with the Neville brothers, Butt, Scholes and Beckham as his apostles. The painting was purchased by Cantona and is currently on display at Manchester's National Football Museum, having been loaned by the Cantona family.

Michael Browne, Wilmslow High School