Upper Fifth visit St Ives

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Upper Fifth visit St Ives

GCSE coursework preparation

On the last weekend of the October half term break, 24 GCSE Art pupils from the Upper Fifth spent 3 days fully immersed in the Art of St Ives. The purpose of the trip was to gather vital first hand contextual evidence which will underpin their second coursework project.

Across the three days, pupils engaged with a vast array of Art that challenged their conceptual thinking and asked them to step outside of their comfort zones with their practical work. The trip began with a visit to the Newlyn Gallery and the Exchange, both in Penance. Here pupils were challenged to create connections between pieces of photography work and re-create their own self-portraits. That afternoon we visited the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, gaining an appreciation of sculpture within the natural landscape.

On the Saturday morning pupils visited the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Gardens and the Tate Gallery. That afternoon pupils were guided through a range of quick drawing activities, charcoal compositions, paintings and clay sculpture work by accompanying artist Greg Humphreys. Teacher of Art Jess Rafferty-White said: “Greg is a fantastic educator, he engages the pupils with his passion and vast knowledge of the history of Art in St Ives, with such enthusiasm, they really have learnt an awful lot.”

Come Sunday morning we were back to work, with pupils producing expressive charcoal drawings through experimenting with a range of techniques. They then developed these in to gestural watercolour paintings, capturing the essence of the landscape. Due to poor weather, we had to call off our afternoon activity of painting en plein air and instead visited the Tate for an artist talk by Kate Schwab where we learnt about the beautiful block print patterns created by the Crysede factory in the early 20th Century in St Ives.

“Having three days fully immersed in the Art of St Ives means that pupils have gathered a wealth of studies and information; this stimulus will give them a great starting point for their artistic endeavours once we are back in the classroom,” said Mrs Rafferty-White.