By: Sue Tansley & Sarah Jones

As our year 13 A Level Students prepare for the Externally Set Exam they explored all that London could offer them for inspiration.

Two minibuses headed to London loaded with our Year 13 Artists to hit the streets of London to collect and curate their ideas for the forthcoming art exam. The A Level Externally Set Exam themes were ringing in their ears, having been set on Saturday, and as each of our students produces such individual work it was essential that they planned their own itinerary. They scoured and researched seeking inspiration; looking at small galleries as well as large ones to make the most of the few hours. Some students were intrepid explorers; starting off at Embankment Somerset House, going to the South Bank for the Tate Modern, travelling to the V&A and back to the National Portrait Gallery. Equally some were happy to place themselves in a large institution like the National or the Tate and take in all that was on offer.

Most of the Fine Artists started their journeys at Trafalgar Square and some of our Photographers and Textiles at the Serpentine and V&A, some Photographers chose to start their day at the Photographers Gallery.

The Royal Academy shone some light on Picasso’s work on paper; with over 300 works to view it is well worth a second visit. Some visited the Tate Modern for the views, Dora Marr, Dora Maurer and repetitive performances on exhibition.

The National Gallery offered up some live art as well as in-depth investigations in the work of selected paintings by our esteemed tour guide. It was good to see the ‘greats’ in the flesh and to look and learn beyond the surface. Turner’s works proved strikingly modern; investigations into surface. Turner’s ‘Fighting Temeraire’ addressed the issues of change as many noted 007 sat in front of the same work debating the inevitability of time in ‘Skyfall’. Many were surprised at the effect the old had on the new – from the acidic vibrancy of a ‘real’ Van Gogh to 17th century Mignard’s swagger family portrait, which was likened to a modern tinder profile.

The Tim Walker exhibition continues to inspire at the V&A. Also at the V&A the new installation by Darren Waterston; a re-imagining of Whister’s Peacock Room and the installation by Patrick Staff at the Serpentine fascinated, confused and shocked in equal measure.

The immersive experience at Somerset House will have given some ideas to our mixed media artists as much as the Design of the Year and Graphic Design displays at the Design Museum will have helped our Graphics students see how creative they can be. We were left in no doubt that Art is a powerful tool to market and inspire.

Each of our students has their initial inspiration and we look forward to viewing our student’s own artistic endeavours in their Summer Exhibition.

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