Over half term the Art department took the 6th Form form to St. Ives for a five day tour of the key artistic venues in and around that part of Cornwall. Setting off after school on the last day before we broke for half term, we had arranged for all our food to be delivered to Cohort St. Ives where we were staying, so that if the hurricanes struck as they had done in the past, we would be able to dig in and survive. Luckily, whilst half term brought some of the most unpleasant weather this year, the Woodroffe students were adventurers and nothing could hold them back. We went to every venue, indoors or outdoors regardless of the weather and more often than not when we needed to get outdoors (for the sculpture park or in Barbara Hepworth’s garden) the gods were kind and the clouds momentarily parted so that we didn’t get drenched.
This was very much a learning experience and we had arranged to have demonstrations in clay throwing at the Bernard Leach Pottery, a bespoke guided visit to an underground aqua obscura at Tremenheere Sculpture park, Photography light drawing classes at Falmouth university and of course the last surf school of the year on St Ives Beach. At every turn we seemed to get lucky and when Neil Armstrong (the owner of Tremeneheere) rocked up to take our group around the sculpture park so he could check for storm damage we got a most knowledgeable and warm introduction to the landscape that he has created in this fantastic setting.
The town itself has enough galleries and workshops to make a visit worthwhile and in the evenings it provided us with great places to eat and with a cinema next door we took the opportunity one evening to watch Joker. One evening, as is now tradition, the staff cooked for the students and made a Vegan, dairy free chilli with paprika wedges and dips that seemed genuinely well received (thank you Jamie Oliver). The evenings at Cohort were also a great opportunity for students and staff to draw and share ideas in the large lounge area at the hostel that we shared with a school form East Grinstead.
On our final evening we managed to navigate the school minibus around the most narrow of Kernow lanes and tracks largely inspired by the music of Katy Perry that the students quite insistently forced us to listen to. After suggesting that we would have to call the police if forced to listed to ‘Firework’ one more time there was some respite and we arrived at the beautiful Minnack Theatre in good spirits and in time for dusk to settle across this magical setting and make the most of the opportunity to take photographs and make drawings. On our way home the next day we managed to cross the causeway to St Michael’s Mount and then take part in a really good workshop at Falmouth University in which students developed their Photography skills creating light drawings as groups.
With so much to offer for artists, Cornwall is a great place to get creative and the students will use the experience to guide their coursework ideas and get inspiration for the examination unit yet to come.
Many thanks to the students for being such a great bunch and to Mr Greenhough and Mrs Burnett for helping make it all happen.