Small beginnings have reaped large rewards for art students at Watford Grammar School for Girls. Last October they staged an imaginative exhibition inside a cubicle at the former JJB Sports store as part of a Space2 pop-up gallery show and prior to that Watford Area Arts Forum kindly offered the young artists space in their summer exhibition at The Harlequin.

Now the GCSE and A Level art students are preparing to stage their first solo show at the shopping centre with the help of WGGS head of the art Georgie Wheeler.

“We’re submitting 45 photographs, two or three from each student and 40 pieces of drawing and other media to highlight the creativity and technical ability of each group,“ says Georgie. “The works vary in size from A4 to A0 and the themes are really broad. Some are personal portraits about identity while others are more concerned with shadow, form and texture. I teach them all about making a visual impact and they’ve been particularly inventive with materials.

“The quality of the photography is amazing and we’ve had a big push on creating technically strong images rather than playing around with not really good images in Photoshop, so it has got stronger.“ Georgie from Rickmansworth studied fine art at Nottingham Trent University and did a foundation degree at Hertfordshire University.

An exhibiting artist in her own right, Georgie sees it as a further challenge for the girls to get their work out into community spaces.

“The exhibition side is a really important aspect of their learning; to have it seen by members of the public and come face to face with them over the half term.“ As well as being on hand to talk about their work, the artists will also be handing out slips of paper to visitors so they can vote for their favourite

The exhibition is on the third floor gallery, The Harlequin Shopping Centre, The Parade, Watford from Sunday February 12 to Sunday, February 19.