The River Thames outside DLD College London

Outstanding Excellence in DLD’s Art & Design Department

21st April 22

The Art, Photography and Graphic Design Department at DLD College London is one of the largest and most popular departments in the College, serving over 100 local and international students each year. The faculty includes students from Year 9, Years 10 & 11 GCSE, two-year A Level courses in Art & Design, Photography & Graphics, and International Foundation Courses in Art & Design and Fashion Design.

“Art is the closest thing to life” George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) 1819-1880

Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, CGI, Mixed Media, 3-D, Animation, Installation and Film Based Work is explored throughout the curriculum. Although a mixed ability College, DLD achieves a 100% pass rate for A Levels which always includes the highest grades of A and A*.  An extensive range of evening co-curricular Art & Design based classes take place, covering Animation & Graphic Design, Photography, Portfolio Building, and Life Classes. Regular study visits to art events and exhibitions take place, giving students a broader understanding of the subject and developing their interest in the world of art. Recently this has included study trips to the Frieze Art Fair, The Tate Modern, The National Gallery, the V&A, the Hunterian Museum, and Paris. The central location of the College within the cultured London art scene, means that students have unlimited access to amazing art museums and facilities right on their doorstep.

Students also receive expert guidance and support when applying to various post A Level courses in world renowned Art Colleges with students graduating to further study in London, Europe and globally. These Colleges include the University of the Arts; Central Saint Martins, Chelsea, Camberwell, Wimbledon, The London College of Fashion, and The London College of Communication, Goldsmiths, Kingston, Ravensbourne, City & Guilds, and The Bartlett in London, and various prestigious provisional and international Art Colleges across the world. The Arts provision has a 100% success rate in relation to students gaining university offers every year. In the last twenty years, hundreds of final year Art & Design students have been offered over a thousand places on a range of Art, Photography, Graphic Design, Illustration, Printmaking, Animation, Computer Aided Design, Fashion, Textiles, Interior Design, Industrial Design, Product Design, and Architecture Courses, at Degree and Foundation level between 2002 and 2021. DLD Alumni are at present, excelling in range of arts-based Foundation, Degree and Postgraduate Courses in major Art Colleges, including Central St. Martin’s, Chelsea College of Art, and the Royal College of Art (recently voted the best art College in the world).

In the last eleven years Art, Photography and Graphics students have been awarded over 60 external prizes and awards, including first prizes, second prizes and highly commended awards in Art 2-D, Art 3-D, Photography, Design, Drawing and sketchbook work in the ISA Regional Art Competition, as well as prizes in the National Competition.


DLD Art students have also won Awards at the annual Leighton House Annual Schools Art Competition, including multiple Highly Commended awards, and students have had their work displayed in a student art exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery as part of the gallery’s annual global student sculpture competition. DLD Students have also won the prestigious CIFE Annual award for Art & Photography.

Collaborations take place between other departments, including Drama, to provide backdrops and props, and Science, assisting with projects combining art and science-based projects. Externally DLD Students Work has been exhibited at a public exhibition in the Oxo House Exhibition in London Southbank. Final Year Art student A Hwang, had her sculpture ‘Human Desire’ selected for a prestigious global student art exhibition; the Young Artists’ Summer Show at The Royal Academy of Arts, in Piccadilly, London in the summer of 2020.

In autumn 2020 final year A-Level student M Khue Pham was selected as one of the student Winners of the 2022 Dryad National Catalogue Competition. Her artwork will be featured in their brand-new catalogue and website, she was awarded £100 pounds, and the DLD Art Department was awarded a £100 voucher for materials.

Winner of the 2022 Dryad Catalogue Cover Competition

The annual End of Year Arts Exhibition showcases and celebrates the quality and range of work produced by our talented students and contributes to the quality of our learning environment within the College. The philosophy of the Department is to promote creativity as a vital part of society, a means of personal as well as creative self-development, a human necessity, not a luxury, and one that is at the core of what makes us human and empowered through creative self-expression. The Art & Design Department make an important contribution to the character of the College and students’ artwork is displayed in the corridors and offices, and students regularly design posters, website headers, and seasonal cards for the College. Important recent art displays within the College have included Great Women Artists, to celebrate International Women’s Day, Great Jewish Artists, for Holocaust Memorial Day, and Black Lives Matter-Black Art Matters, celebrating Black History Month. The experienced core staff within the Department also act as trainers and mentors for NQT and PGCE placements through links with the Institute of Education and Goldsmiths University.

In the recent pandemic we have displayed creative ‘Thank You’ and ‘We Love the NHS’ artworks and banners in windows facing St Thomas’s Hospital and created an exhibition of pandemic themed artworks in the College’s Global Kitchen, to support and recognise survival through creativity during the Pandemic lockdown periods. All these core and extra-curricular activities combine to make the Art, Photography & Graphics Provision a thriving and integral part of the character and substance of DLD College London.

Jonathan Parkhouse, Acting Head of Department

To find out more about our outstanding Art Department, view our dedicated web page here.


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