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Art trip to Cornwall

On the first day, we left school to visit Roche Court Gallery, where we toured around in two groups, working in our rough sketchbooks drawing the various sculptures and exhibitions on show. I particularly liked some of the work by Alexis Teplin: the current exhibition which showcased colourful abstract paintings and painted clothing. Then, we began the long journey to Penzance. The 6 hour coach journey was made more fun by a creative activity we were set. It was to choose a title of a sculpture we saw at Roche Court, and two contrasting themes to create anything we wanted in our new Cornwall Sketchbooks.

On the second day, we woke up early to a lovely breakfast in the hostel and then set off to Penlee gallery to look at artists who worked in Cornwall in the late 19th and early 20th century. We each did thumbnail sketches for several paintings and then did a detailed study of a section of the painting we chose. My favourite painting on show had to be ‘The Rain it Raineth Every Day’ by Norman Garstin. So I chose to do this for my main study. We also worked in the Penlee Gardens with coloured paper with which we had to form a collage of the plants. After Lunch, we went to the Tremenheere Sculpture Garden. This was for many of us the highlight of the Trip! We had several hours to paint the beautiful garden and exotic plants, and St Michael’s Mount which we could see in the distance. There was also a camera obscura which some of us may have used to spy on our friends, and a dazzling ‘Skyspace’ installation by James Turrell, which left many of us speechless.

On the third day we did a painting workshop, in which we learned new skills in abstract painting and practiced being free and making bold marks. Our painting was loosely based off a sketch we did in Tremenheere gardens, and our teacher helped us to make the leap from monotone sketches to lively, coloured paintings. Next we went to the Barbara Hepworth Gardens. It was an enlightening exhibition with interesting sculptures and paintings. I really liked how the sculptures were hidden in the plants and I had a great time sketching the unique shapes. After that we went to the Tate St Ives, which was in a beautiful location, just in front of the sea. We spent the afternoon sketching and responding to all kinds of paintings and sculptures and broadened our understanding of a different mark making.

On each day in the evening at the hostel, we had workshops where we studied land art, worked with collage and listened to a talk on many of the artists whose work we had seen during the day. I thought this was a fun and relaxing way to finish up our work from the day.

On the last day we went back to St Ives, as different groups did alternate activities as there is a myriad of exhibitions by the beach. Our group first went to the Penwith Gallery, which was a gorgeous space and most of the work was in one, airy room. As an art student, I loved the paintings, but also really enjoyed responding to the sculptures as they were really interesting and unique. After that we painted by the beach, with an unusually shaped piece of card. It was refreshing to work with the odd shape and it gave a new perspective to the normal, long beach. Of course we ended the trip with huge Cornish ice creams!

Caroline, 10J and Chelsea, 10M

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