On Friday, Year 11 fine artists and photographers ventured to London under the threat of blizzards.

The students were treated to an edited tour from, Fine Artist and MA Slade Graduate, Raksha Patel. She involved students in discussions about work from different times and cultures and students worked collaboratively on a collage task and independently on a personal scroll inspired by artist collaborative ‘Pharmacopeia’. Students also managed to squeeze in a visit to home-grown artist Maggie Hambling’s exhibition: ‘Touch: works on paper’, where they saw emotive portraits of her parents and one of her first portraits of Rosie the Rhino from Ipswich Museum.

The photographers started at Tate Modern where Phillippe Parenno’s installation in the Turbine Hall was the first piece they encountered; with sound, light and sculpture he created a meditative area in this cavernous space. The major retrospective of Robert Rauschenberg was hotly anticipated and students marvelled at his understanding of composition, his use of mixed media and use of colour and texture. It was a revelation to see the scale, layering and detail in his work, which you cannot see in a book or on a computer. Next up was the Modernist Photography, kindly loaned by Sir Elton John, featuring many seminal images that students have already studied. To see them in the flesh was a real treat, once again the scale was often surprising, as is the extreme detail in the images in this exquisite collection.

With a cornucopia of works to explore students are beginning to decipher a way to interpret this years’ exam theme from Edexcel: ‘Beginnings and/or End’. Hopefully this is the start of great things to come, ending in a positive GCSE grade!

A stop at Stratford Westfield on the way home was a welcome break for all student’s whose behaviour had been impeccable for the day.

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