Why we sponsor the Windsor Festival Youth Arts Competition

Who would think that the art room at the local state school is the future engine house of the UK economy?  But those were the sentiments of Desmond Shawe-Taylor,  Keeper of the Queens Pictures and one of the nations leading art experts.

Keeper of the Queens Pictures

Keeper of the Queens Pictures

Desmond was not in this instance appearing on television but speaking at Herbert Smith Freehills, one of the London’s great law firms, at an exhibition of work from young school children.

Exhibition brochures

Exhibition brochures

The work which spanned multiple disciplines including painting, writing, poetry, music composition, sculpture and clothes design was curated professionally by Windsor art gallery ICE and came together through The Youth Art Prize part of the Windsor Festival and sponsored by my business ComXo.

Fisherman Olivia Clarke

Fisherman Olivia Clarke

Why are we, experts in switchboard support services and 24/7 business concierge, interested in youth art? Well it comes down to ‘purpose’ and as a mentor of mine explained “purpose is what gets you out of bed on the coldest darkest dankest day in February raring to get on with what you do.”  In my case my mentor made me think about it for some time, testing each answer I came up with, like the obvious ‘money’, or ‘global domination’, or ‘lifestyle’ and even what had been my stock answer for years ‘master of my own destiny”. In the end I wrote down the following words and they have stood the test of time

” to build an organisation where creative, energetic people with a passion for being the best can challenge the status quo and build a better future.”

Now I would forgive you if you dismissed that as navel gazing guff but I  stand behind it because it means everything to me.

Waistcoat Christabel Turnbull

Waistcoat Christabel Turnbull

Dismantling and re thinking what we do today and through creative thought rebuilding and re shaping and then trial and error we progress.  When we hire at ComXo we are less interested in school grades, past experience and knowledge and more interested in a persons aptitude for challenging what we take for granted and why and how we do things and putting together creative teams that can evolve any existing process, procedure or product to make it better.


Self Portrait 30's Style Katie Underhill Churchmead School

Self Portrait 30’s Style
Katie Underhill
Churchmead School

Creativity sits at the heart of this process and creativity is honed, developed and set free in the art room, music room and drama studio.  It is surely a misconception that information or facts learnt by rote and regurgitated in the exam hall is the determinant of successful learning…with out creativity to stretch, manipulate, de-construct, re-arrange, turn inside out, upside down and as such to alter perspective, uncover insight and discover the new our world will indeed stagnate.

So thank you to Ian Gatt QC of Herbert Smith Freehills, Partner responsible for the firms extra ordinary art collection who said

“Through ComXo, who provide telephony services to Herbert Smith Freehills, the firm became involved with the Windsor Festival Schools Programme in 2014.  As we were impressed by the extremely high standard of work we invited the winners and commended entrants to exhibit their art on the commercial stage in London, in front of clients and guests visiting the firm offices.”

Click the link below to see the press coverage

Schools Programme 2014 Exhibition at HSF Press Coverage


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