GCSE Art Trip
Year 10 GCSE Art pupils travel to London
Friday 13 2019 was an extremely lucky day for the 33 Year 10 GCSE Art pupils and 3 members of staff who travelled by coach to London to sample a small selection of the capital's best art galleries.
We kicked off with some quick-fire sketching of the buildings and monuments around Trafalgar Square. The morning was bright, the pigeons were boisterous and the strains of a Bob Dylan cover drifted across the stonework as we struggled to capture the complex architecture with our pencils.
By 10.30am we were filing into the wonderful National Portrait Gallery. We spent 30 minutes in the BP Portrait Award 2019 exhibition, an eclectic collection of paintings and photographs, before entering the main event: a retrospective of the highly influential American artist Cindy Sherman.
Focusing on the artist’s manipulation of her own appearance and her deployment of material derived from a range of cultural sources, including film, advertising and fashion, the exhibition explored the tension between façade and identity. A series of beautifully curated rooms displayed her developing creative process from art school to her more recent, enigmatic, large scale images. It was an extraordinary experience, simultaneously, unsettling, thought-provoking and emotionally charged. Deer Park pupils were intrigued and affected by the work.
Later, as we ate our packed lunches in the peace of St. James’ Park, we had time to reflect on what it had all meant before continuing on to the Tate Britain at Millbank, which is, as it describes itself on the website, the home of British Art from 1500 to the present day.
Our pupils used their time wisely, slowing down to take in the visual language of each work they chose to observe; many of them attempting drawings of details or taking photos with their phones. We had a good two hours to explore, which wasn’t nearly enough to take in all that was on offer, but neither were we rushed and it certainly made for an elegant and memorable afternoon.
'I thought today was really good. It was nice to look at the paintings and think about the techniques used and the meanings behind them.' Kadie
'We had a wonderful day in London visiting Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery. Tate had more modern and abstract pieces, in addition to old but fine quality paintings.' Keira and Raph
I had a fantastic day accompanying the Year 10 Art pupils whilst we visited two excellent London galleries and had lunch in a sunny St James' Park. I enjoyed looking at the British painting from the 1500s to the Victorian era. I usually go straight to the more modern work but this early work is so beautifully painted and the subject matter often so interesting.
My thanks to Miss Simpson and Mr Sanders for their good humour and professionalism in accompanying our pupils and of course a big thank you to the pupils themselves who treated the whole experience with the respect and seriousness that we have come to expect from them. A personal analysis and response to the Cindy Sherman exhibition will form an important part of their GCSE coursework.
Mr Armshaw, Assistant Head of Design Faculty