Former Bedford Girls’ School pupil returns to paint head

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(l-r) Mihaila Kuveljic and Miss MacKenzie with the portrait.
(l-r) Mihaila Kuveljic and Miss MacKenzie with the portrait.

A former Bedford Girls’ School pupil has returned to unveil a portrait of outgoing Headmistress, Miss Jo MacKenzie.

Mihaila Kuveljic, who recently graduated with a Fine Art degree from Oxford Brookes University, was inspired to use rich colours and a “meticulous attention to detail” to create an “enticingly aesthetic” piece.

“When considering the composition of the painting, I firstly needed to see what ideas and concepts Miss MacKenzie wished to be portrayed within the piece,” said Mihaila.

“Her love of people, the school and gardening were all aspects which stood out to me the most.”

Mihaila explained that Miss MacKenzie’s personality also helped inspired more than just the image of herself in the portrait.

“I decided to create a wash of greens with a slight blue tint to reflect on Miss MacKenzie’s love of scents within a garden.

“When I first walked into Miss MacKenzie’s office, I noticed the delicate arrangement of baby’s breathe on her desk. I decided that these were the perfect flowers to add to the composition,” she said.

Miss MacKenzie is leaving the school after ten years, where she is said to have built a school that encapsulates her vision of education.

This includes developing young women who have the intellect, skills and motivation to make a real difference to the world around them.

“Lots of staff have seen the portrait and have said that Mihaila has captured my spirit in the eyes, and that I think is the hardest thing to do,” said Miss MacKenzie.

“The fact that Mihaila has done it so well is a credit to her incredible talent. It is so important to me that an alumna painted this portrait.

“The creative arts is such an important part of this school, and it’s really important for me that students see what happens as you pursue them as a career.

I thank Mihaila from the bottom of my heart and am so proud she is an Old Girl of this school.”

The piece of art will join portraits of other former Headmistresses in the Senior School corridor.

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