25 June 2024

Year 10 Art trip to Cornwall

GCSE Art and 3D Design students enjoyed galleries and workshops on their residential to Cornwall.

The Art Department’s annual residential trip to Cornwall with Year 10 GCSE Art and 3D Design students began at the end of June with a stop at the beautiful Hauser and Wirth gallery in Somerset. Here, students were introduced to the work of the experimental sculptor Phillida Barlow and participated in valuable gallery-led workshops exploring her sequential process of making and recording.

After the pit-stop at Hauser and Wirth, we carried on down to Penzance to settle into our well-accommodated youth hostel where everyone settled into their rooms before supper and an evening sculpting activity in the grounds based on the environmental constructions of Andy Goldsworthy.

Our first full day in Cornwall led us to St Ives. Here, we split the group into two: the 3DD students started their day with a visit to the influential Leach Pottery followed by a morning drawing in the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. This was for many a highlight where they had time to draw and sit in the beautiful garden surrounded by Hepworth’s’ sculptures. Meanwhile, Art students spent the morning having a drawing and painting workshop with the St Ives School of Painting which involved drawing from open air views off the peninsular followed by their use of these drawings to build into experimental landscape paintings on collaged paper. After a lunch when Cornish pasties were enjoyed – despite seagull attacks – we swooped over activities and the Art group visited the Hepworth and Penwith Galleries while the 3DD students enjoyed the painting workshop. The rain held off until our steep walk back up to the coach park and back to Penzance for supper and a busy-but-happy evening working into sketchbooks together in the youth hostel dining room.

By 9.30am on Saturday we were all in the garden of the Penlee House Gallery and Museum in Penzance drawing in the lovely gardens and enjoying the incredibly tame squirrels that happily visited just a few feet away from us. Apart from its fascinating historical displays and paintings of the Newlyn School of Art, the gallery also had a beautiful exhibition of the work of Harold Harvey which we all drew from and took notes. The gallery café also provided delightful offerings which we all enjoyed.

A busy morning was followed by a relaxed but inspiring afternoon at the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens where the founder, Neil Armstrong, kindly spent time introducing the gardens and the work to us. It happened that the present Newlyn School of Art also had their annual exhibition this weekend so we were also able to talk to the artists and see their work before a gentle afternoon of painting and drawing amongst the wonderful planting and sculpture of the valley. A particular highlight was sitting together in James Turrell’s ‘Skyspace.’

Once again, the evening’s post-supper drawing workshop was a hive of activity after which we lined up sketchbooks along a corridor and enjoyed a group affirmation of the work done and imaginative interpretations of the things seen during the day.

The long trip home on Sunday was made shorter by a stop over in the morning at Lanhydrock House where the restorations to the house had paintings holding conversations with the public, and a rare opportunity to see the extraordinary ceiling plaster mouldings up close as the public was allowed onto the restoration scaffolding.

The trip was most memorable for being a very happy trip with a great deal of laughing alongside lots of learning and recording of beautiful artwork in stunning settings.

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