17th November 2015 5th GCSE Trip to National Portrait Gallery
VI form Art trip to London Galleries
Sixth Form Artists went to London to refresh their creativity before the Art exam paper is issued and maybe inform their applications to art foundation courses. First stop was the Courtauld Gallery; tucked away in Somerset House this is a gem of a gallery and the Egon Schiele – the radical nude was the exhibition everyone has been talking about. Although contained to two small galleries Schiele’s drawing are still shocking 100 years on. His exquisite use of line and intimate unflinching gaze still has the power to shock and admire in equal measure. The gallery itself contains some real masterpieces so it was good to have a dedicated talk on some of the collection from the galleries degree programme to help the students understand how to talk about the conceptual and contextual elements in the paintings. This conclude with the students in groups choosing a painting to describe to the rest. After Lunch in the subterranean Belgo restaurant in Covent Garden we walked to Piccadilly and the Royal Academy. Here the last week of Anselm Kiefers monumental exhibition provided more fuel for thought and again how understanding how context is key. To finish the day the newly opened Burlington Garden gallery of the RA provided the setting for a career retrospective of pop artist Allen Jones. The Telegraph review of the exhibition was ' brilliant' which in many ways sums up a fantastic day of Art.
5th year trip to the Royal Academy.
detail from a Kiefer Canvas - still drying
29th Sept 2014 4th Year GCSE Trip to Anslem Kiefer at Royal Academy of Arts.
Monday morning saw the 4th year artists standing in the famous courtyard of the Royal Academy in London’s Piccadilly. In front of us were two huge glass tanks containing iron submarines of different sizes menacing like sharks. Inside we given hour long talks by Royal Academy staff who carefully unpicked the meaning behind some of Kiefers work and encouraged the students to engage with what they saw. A complex critical engagement with history runs through Anselm Kiefer's work. Kiefer works with the conviction that art can heal a traumatized nation and a vexed, divided world. He creates epic paintings on giant canvases that calls upon the history of German culture with the help of depictions of figures such as Wagner or Goethe thus continuing the historical tradition of painting as a medium of addressing the world. Only a few contemporary artists have such a pronounced sense of art's duty to engage the past and the ethical questions of the present, and are in the position to express the possibility of the absolution of guilt through human effort.
Looking at Kiefer's Work from a new perspective.
VI Form Masterclass Trip to London
The annual art master class seminar is always something to break the blues of dark nights and Christmas having not quite arrived. So it was a real treat for the Sixth artists to emerge from Goodge street underground station and five minutes later be listening to the internationally famous photographer Martin Parr. His talk was insightful and funny and showed that there was rich subject matter all around us. His leaving comment was to be "obsessed with art or die" to illustrate how you must be so focussed to creatively outlive the competition. The post lunch session was headed by Roz Hall. Excitingly billed as an iPad artist he initially showed some interesting use of various apps before attempting to 'paint' a student in the audience. Without any irony the technology got the better of him and lost the sympathy of the 900 art students in the audience.
Luckily painter Lisa Milroy www.lisamilroy.net concluded the speakers and was inspirational. There was a distinctly worried look from our students when she talked about finishing paintings in a day and how she found it difficult to slow down! Her paintings showed like Parr how the ordinary can be the most interesting subject matter and equally the passion and philosophical thought behind their work. Milroy last comment was on her favourite’s painters she replied Velasquez, Goya, and Manet. So it was wonderful 10 minutes later for us to be in front of Manets masterpiece ‘girl at the folies bergere’ at the Courtauld Gallery. This is a gem of a gallery tucked away in Somerset house it has an exquisite collection of art from the renaissance to Monet, Toulouse Lautrec and Walter Sickert.
If that wasn't enough a small exhibition of Stanley Spencer’s poignant war paintings for Sandham Memorial Chapel provide more creative thought and contemplation. The walk back was magical as the festival lights of the south bank beckoned us home after an inspirational day of art and artists.
Tuesday 10th December The Creative Process Seminar
Magnum Photographer Martin Parr
Martin Parr is considered the UK’s leading photographer and is a member of Magnum, the prestigious international collective of elite photographers.
Students will hear him talk about his approach as a photographer and will be able to see for themselves how he uses seduction and humour to comment.
While his photographs are highly original and entertaining, they also show us how we present ourselves to others and what we value in life. Martin Parr has had over 100 exhibitions of his work and published over 70 books.
iPad Art: The Journey from Gimmick to New Medium
‘Art is about expressing oneself freely and openly – as a Mobile Digital Artist, my studio is always there, ready to be picked up and allows me to be creating within seconds’. Roz Hall teaches at the University of Chichester and is an HEA fellow. Since the launch of the iPad in 2010, he has gone back to his roots in painting and has had work exhibited across the globe, including at the Saatchi Gallery in London. This interactive talk will demonstrate how you create a painting using the iPad and touch on the journey the iPad is currently taking towards being a genuine new medium, a similar journey to that already made by photography and film.
Lisa Milroy: Still Life Lisa Milroy RA
Lisa Milroy was born in Vancouver, and lives and works in London. She graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1982. Still life is at the heart of Milroy’s practice: in the 1980s her paintings featured ordinary objects depicted against an off-white ground. Subsequently her imagery expanded to depictions of objects within settings, including landscape, architecture and people. Milroy is fascinated by the relation between stillness and movement and the nature of making and looking at painting. She was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2005 and is Head of Graduate Painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL since 2009. Her work is held in many public and private collections.
Sixth Form Art Trip September 2013
The first week of term was the perfect opportunity to take the Lower and Upper Sixth to a handful of London Galleries. The Royal Academy was our first stop for their Mexico 'Art of Revolution' show. For the photographers there was work by some of the subject's greats including Cartier-Bresson, Paul Strand, Edward Weston and Robert Capa alongside the local Manuel Bravo.
After lunch in Convent Garden the group headed to the National Portrait Gallery for the annual BP portrait award. Like previous years this exhibition gives a snapshot of the best in contemporary portrait painting. Styles ranged from small delicate oils to large brash works in pastiches of photo realism and Chuck Close. We also looked at the work of Laura Knight whose paintings of dancers and gypsies in the 1930s lead to her work as a war artist and the day concluded by the chance to see the best in contemporary portrait commissions and an exciting collection by Jonathan Yeo.
We returned home full of ideas and inspiration for the year ahead.
Fourth Year Art trip to Pitt Rivers Museum 2012
The Fourth Year trip to the Pitt Rivers Museum was designed around the GCSE theme of ‘collections’ so where better to research than in a collection of collections!
The Pitt Rivers Museum was founded in 1884 when Lt.-General Pitt Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the university. His two conditions were that a museum was built to house it and that someone should be appointed to lecture in anthropology. The collection now has grown to over half a million.
Students were rapidly absorbed by the display cabinets and started drawing. Subjects ranged from shells to masks and even the detail of an early flintlock rifle. There was time for a breath of fresh air in Oxford for lunch before another enthusiastic session to add to the morning’s drawings. The day will result in sketchbook pages bursting with first hand observational drawing and the first presentation of a prize for the best sketchbook.
Fifth Year Art trip
The British Museum was the location for the Fifth Year GCSE artists this week. When researching ideas for a sculptured head, there is no better place than the galleries of Greek and Roman heads. There is a real sense of artistic continuity seeing that artists 3000 years earlier were doing a similar ‘project’! Sketchbooks were filled and photographs taken as fantastic first hand research.
After lunch a stroll north took us to the magnificent renovated Midland Hotel and adjacent to the Eurostar trains the impressive sculpture ‘The Meeting Place’ by contemporary sculptor Paul Day. Apart from the scale (9 metres high) the intricate frieze around the base proved compelling to our artists and showed the possibilities of working in relief. 3000 years of Sculpture in one day was a good way of spending a Monday!
Art trip to Oxford
On Tuesday 11th September the Sixth Form artists and photographers went to Oxford for a day of inspiration and art banter. The wonderful Pitt Rivers Museum was the first port of call for two hours of drawing whilst the photographers roamed the streets looking for the soul of Cartier Bresson. Lunch was a well-deserved pizza stop before heading towards the Ashmolean – the world’s first university museum. Although a brief visit, there was time to be overwhelmed by the recent drawings of Jenny Saville hanging alongside medieval masterpieces. Afterwards, the Oxford Museum of Modern Art was the final destination to see the first retrospective of her work in the UK in her home town. Here there was no escaping the visceral quality of her painting and the ambition and scale. The subject matter might have been challenging but the intent was impressive and conversation on the train journey home was purely of drawing, painting and the desire to create.