Inspired in St Ives

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Inspired in St Ives

GCSE Art trip

Thirty Upper Fifth GCSE Art pupils spent the weekend of 3-5 November in St Ives, working with a professional artist and gathering important first-hand contextual research to inform their second coursework unit.

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 and showcasing the vibrant abstract work of Robyn Denny. Pupils had to work swiftly to create collaged compositions, on site, in response to Denny’s work.

On the Friday we also visited the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, gaining an appreciation of sculpture within the natural landscape. The Aqua-obscurer by James Turrell was a sensory highlight and an experience that the pupils will not forget quickly.

On the Saturday we visited the newly reopened Tate Gallery, which hosts spectacular views across the town. That afternoon pupils were guided through a range of quick drawing activities, charcoal compositions, paintings and clay sculpture work by accompanying artist Greg Humphreys.

Acting Head of Art Jess White said “Greg’s knowledge of the history of St Ives art is vast and thorough, he imparts it enthusiastically and encourages pupils to push the boundaries with their work.”

Saturday evening provided staff and pupils with much entertainment in the form of a recycled art fashion show. From plaited newspaper straps, to pleated tutus, the outcomes were of such a high standard that judging was incredibly difficult.

Braving the cold on Sunday morning, we set off to Porthminster beach to create sand sculptures inspired by Barbara Hepworth’s notion of ‘truth to materials’. Once defrosted back at the hotel, pupils undertook a Cubist painting task, inspired by the ground of Treloyan Manor. It was a great end to the trip with many energetic and colourful outcomes.

“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 Miss White.