The annual London Art trip of 2018 arrived back early on Friday morning tired but full of smiles. We encountered (surprisingly for November) a week of lovely, dry and crisp days and even some sunshine.
The pupils embraced the regular opportunities to sketch in various historic and modern places such as the Natural History museum and the Design museum. They completed tasks such as detailed sketches, quick line drawings using only one-line, blind drawings and using various materials. This was challenging for those who haven’t had many art lessons previously, however, they persevered and as the week progressed their skills improved.
During our time in the Tate Modern, we had interactive activities such as learning about the abstract work of Matisse and Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’, both of which challenged the pupil’s ideas of modern art and justified their importance in today’s society.
In the National Gallery, we learnt about the importance of the artists colour choice and the myths and legends behind some of the paintings in the gallery. The pupils asked and answered very impressive questions.
Other highlights included a ‘spin’ on the London Eye and we were lucky to have clear skies and views over London for miles. Our guide described the views and we saw sights such as Big Ben and Westminster, the Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral, the ‘Cheese Grater’ and the ever-developing skyline of London. pupils were asked to draw both an old building and a modern building using pencil or biro, the contrast of the two quite spectacular. Afterwards, a walking tour of London was invaluable. We saw sights such as Buckingham Palace, St James Park and Green Park, Downing Street, Westminster and Churchills War rooms and heard the history behind each of them.
A shopping trip to Harrods was enjoyed by all, especially the shoppers in our group. I think some of them would have happily stayed there for the rest of the week!
The National Portrait Gallery was a new addition this year and very worthwhile. Many of the famous names, including the people who have inspired the WAIS house structure, were in the Gallery which was interesting for our pupils. Again, they did a range of sketching in their books of a famous portrait of their choice, documenting the information available.
Harry Potter proved a success and many of our pupils got involved in the interactive experiences along with enjoying a taste of butter beer and a wander down Diagon Alley. They were delighted to delve into the Harry Potter shop for gifts and goodies. Some of the pupils wore their cloaks for the remainder of the week!
The UAL tour was inspiring, for both staff and pupils! The University facilities and courses available to our pupils within the creative subjects are vast and the support the University offers to international pupils is exceptional. Our pupils asked a variety of questions and some showed real interest in potentially following their future ambitions at UAL.
Afternoon tea at the Baglioni Hotel was a highlight for our pupils, most having not seen a cream tea before or seen the formality of the setting. Pupils looked very smart in their full winter uniform and represented the school excellently. It was lovely for staff to be able to introduce something very ‘British’ to their pupils.
The final night was a visit to the theatre to watch the Lion King. It was an unforgettable experience for the pupils！Afterwards, we headed to the Strand Hotel for a very British carvery. Introducing the pupils to Yorkshire Puddings and gravy was a fantastic way to finish a trip to London. Overall, the London Art trip was an enormous success and enjoyed by all.
Roll on next year!