By: Sarah Jones, Teacher of Art

Year 9 enjoyed a busy day in Norwich last week visiting art galleries and museums. We began our art investigations in the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Art where we saw the extensive Sainsbury collection from around the world.

Connections could be made between the ‘primitive’ and the contemporary works of the likes of Henry Moore and others. Sculptures were looked at ‘in the round’ and the techniques of painting critiqued; some paintings looked like photos whilst others seemingly painted in a ‘childish’ manner. Working with an artist in the studio space challenged students to draw in new ways: with both hands, with the wrong hand, drawing the negative spaces and from a high up viewpoint. This gave students new ways of seeing and ways to approach drawing.

Norwich Castle provided historical objects to explore and handle. Students went ‘speed drawing’ to capture the ‘essence of the object’. Whilst working with another artist students looked at the everyday as depicted by the Norwich School of Painters. Students then went on to look at the work in detail. Armed with viewfinders and colour wheels they peeled back the layers of what they found before them – a transparency with line, one with colour and the third transparency building a tonal range.

For some this offered the shock of the new: works of art in ‘real life’. Working with contemporary artists in a gallery context provided new ways of doing and drawing for our young artists. This was an important step forward for those progressing with us to GCSE, as this will, hopefully, become a commonplace experience.

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