During Enrichment Week, 29 pupils and 3 members of staff travelled down to Cornwall for an inaugural creative trip. We were following in the footsteps of many British artists and designers who, attracted by the quality of light and beautiful scenery, have made Cornwall their home over the years.
We stayed at the Penzance Youth Hostel, which was the perfect base for our day trips. The accommodation was comfortable, food plentiful and the staff who looked after us were friendly. We arrived on Monday afternoon and, having settled into our rooms, made our way to the beach at Marazion. Although tide times meant we could not get over to St Michael’s Mount, it formed the perfect backdrop for a couple of hours making sand sculptures on the beach.
On Tuesday we went to St Ives to explore the beautiful seaside town and the places various artists have lived and worked. The morning started with a guided walk around the town, stopping to look at views that have inspired artists past and present. We saw work in the town by Bryan Pearce, Alfred Wallace’s cottage and, having seen her sculptures, finished the tour at the The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Her studio has been preserved exactly as she left it and the hillside garden is full of her bronze sculptures. We had time to soak up the tranquil atmosphere she had created while drawing our favourite pieces of her work.
From there we wound our way back through the narrow streets to the beach on the Atlantic coast to eat our sandwiches, although the seagulls had other ideas! After lunch we climbed the hill to the St Ives School of Painting to begin an afternoon drawing with a local artist on a Sketch and Stroll workshop. We started at the school, stopped to draw in the town and finished drawing on the cliffs looking over the sea. A full day of exploring and drawing in the glorious sunshine called for a treat and we finished our day with Cornish ice cream and a wander around the shops and harbour, before wending our way back to Penzance for supper and bed.
On Wednesday morning after breakfast we headed to the Eden Project for a day exploring the 'biomes'. We face the humidity as we meandered along paths through jungle plants in the Rainforest Biodome. Following lunch and a Cornish pasty in the sunshine, we strolled through the Mediterranean Biome. There are pieces of sculpture and art inspired by the Project's ethos of sustainability and recycling all around the Eden Project so we had plenty of things to draw, adding to our sketchbooks. The day ended back on the beach in Marazion for toasted marshmallows and a chance to collect shells, pebbles and driftwood to take back to school.
We travelled home on Thursday to spend Friday in school making artwork inspired by our trip and the artists we had learnt about. Everybody made a ceramic tile and developed their sketchbooks into a lasting memory of an inspiring trip. We hope that this is the first of many trips to Cornwall by Cirencester Deer Park School and for the individual pupils who took part.
“Really enjoyed it, definitely go again. Gave an insight into the artists of Cornwall and the attraction they saw in Cornwall.” Joe
“I enjoyed learning about the Cornish artists, especially Barbara Hepworth. Her sculpture in the centre of St Ives is abstract and the talk we had from Dawn helped me understand the meaning.” Lily
“I really enjoyed learning about how the artists and fishermen worked together.” India
“This was my first time to Cornwall and it was an amazing experience, especially St Ives.” Luyanda
“I had a great experience, I would definitely go again. It has helped me decide what I would like to do as a career.” Kit
“It was fun, it was interesting. We had fun at the beach. We had a camp fire and we went to St Ives School of Painting and I ate marshmallows.” Matty