Frank Bowling, Understanding Frank, 2024 Edition of 100 (£6,000 +VAT) in partnership with CIRCA and Findel Education. © Frank Bowling

Sir Frank Bowling in partnership with CIRCA and Findel

February 2024

Launching with one of Britain’s greatest living artists, Frank Bowling inaugurates CIRCA PIPELINE – a new print initiative to generate £500,000 in art supplies for 100 state primary schools across the UK. Coinciding with the artist’s 90th birthday on Monday 26 February 2024, 100 hand-signed, 14-layer-silk-screen prints will be released exclusively on CIRCA.ART to enable more young people the opportunity to make a life in the creative sectors.

Sir Frank Bowling, OBE RA, said “Access to materials isn’t just about creating; it’s about nurturing possibility. Artists will always do what they have to do and find ways of doing – art finds a way, but young children need schools to be a place of artistic possibilities. It’s not just about making art; it’s about making sure they feel empowered to create, no matter what. Let’s spark that fire early on.”

A print with purpose, the CIRCA PIPELINE initiative responds directly to a creativity crisis in UK state primary schools. In 2019, 68% of primary school teachers in England felt there was less arts education now than in 2010, with 49% believing the quality had decreased. In 2021, the creative industries sector contributed £109bn to the UK economy – equivalent to 5.6% of the UK economy that year. Yet, this potential for young people is not reflected in the current education curriculum. The 2023 ‘Arts in Schools’ report by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and A New Direction notes that ‘there is a lack of value ascribed to the arts within the state education system in England’ despite the evidence which shows the importance of an arts education to young people’s skills development.

Highlighting the intersection of art, education and philanthropy, proceeds from the sale of ‘Understanding Frank’ (2024) will facilitate the rollout of an arts programme to over 100 UK state primary schools in 2024/5. In partnership with Findel Education – one of the leading eCommerce educational resource suppliers in the UK – 30,000 children will receive free access to paint, brushes, colouring pencils and canvases. Fostering a deeper appreciation for the arts in classrooms across the UK, a six-week programme developed between Frank Bowling Studio, Goldsmiths, University of London and CIRCA will guide children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old on a journey to create their very own paintings inspired by Bowling. CIRCA PIPELINE will culminate in the Summer of 2025 when participating students’ work will be exhibited on Landsec’s Piccadilly Lights. Schools and teachers are encouraged to apply online to participate before 30 April, 2024.

Each school will receive professional guidance alongside a free pack – distributed in partnership with Findel Education – containing the following materials:

  • 120 Specialist Crafts Paint
  • 300 Stretch Canvases
  • 300 Long Round Paint Brushes
  • 300 Colouring Mixing Trays
  • 300 A4 Sketchbooks
  • 300 Pan Sets of 12 Classmates Colour Watercolours
  • 300 White Synthetic Sable Brushes
  • 2,880 Findel Everyday Colouring Pencils
  • 1,440 Specialist Crafts Graphites

Each print will provide 1 UK state primary school (300 children) with free access to paint, canvases and other materials distributed in partnership with Findel Education. © Frank Bowling

Celebrating National Apprenticeships Week 2024

Celebrating National Apprenticeships Week 2024

National Apprenticeships Week #NAW2024 is a week-long celebration that brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

read more