In half term the Art department hired a minibus and drove off to London with our sixth form Art/Graphics/Photography students. The plan was to see as much art in 48 hours as was humanly possible to help students with their ideas for the recently released exam paper, and to get the lower sixth thinking about their own thematic study which is about to begin. This trip from Friday morning to Sunday night cost £150 and was managed entirely through the Richard Vine travel company.
We set off on the bus with frost on the ground and blue skies which in Early February was a real bonus and and for the rest of the trip the weather stayed pretty good. Parking the minibus in the middle of borough market off London bridge was a doddle and we ambled over the millennium bridge to our fantastic Hostel, the YHA at St Pauls, right in the footsteps of the cathedral. We then saw work at the Tate Modern, the Photographers Gallery in St James, and another really interesting exhibition in Oxford circus before hitting the underground as a school group to make our way back to the hostel. It is worth noting that I managed to get a school group ticket in spite of the serious beards sported by some of the gang. Haggling is an art.
On Day two we ate well at breakfast and then began the walk to Tower Bridge where we could see the London sights from a vantage point that didn’t exist when I was London schoolkid. On the way we stopped at monument where I managed to get a group deal that allowed us to climb to the top of the tower for only £20 and an unwanted egg mayonnaise sandwich. Bonus!
Passing pudding lane and then working our way round the tower of London there were plenty of things to trigger the imagination for project work and the students got busy taking photos and drawing. We then took an uber boat (haggled to £7 per person) on to Westminster allowing us to rest our feet and get more exciting vantage points and views of the city. We were booked in at the horror Show exhibition at Somerset house in the afternoon which was really well received by the students and then they had some time to explore Covent Garden market. I discovered this meant finding a bespoke shop in “Diagon Alley” where otherwise impossible to find ‘Magic the Gathering” cards could be purchased. I had a coffee instead but was really pleased when I caught sight of students drawing in the hustle and bustle of the market. On our way back to the hostel we were caught up in a colourful Protest march Demanding the release of Julian Assange. I turned to a student to explain the context and their response to me was three words “Simple but Complex”, the title of this year’s exam paper.
We ate dinner, and then set out for our evening booking at the sky garden. I was expecting the Eden project on stilts, but it was actually a really beautiful place to see London at its best with a cool DJ playing great tunes and lounge seats to enjoy the views. The plants were great, but the views were breath-taking. After a few hours of serious photography we walked back to our hostel via the statues around St Pauls and got ready for day three.
On the third day we went to the British Museum which was very much about drawing. As ever the walks to and from places are really interesting and I suspect that many projects could be built from the Art we saw on the trip but it was the fantastic company that Woodroffe students always are that made this visit so much fun. With Katy Perry playing in the background we set off home on Sunday afternoon driving over Lambeth bridge for the last time with fantastic experiences that will filter into project work over the next two months.
My Thanks to Mrs David and Mr Greenhough for making it possible.