Art students in Year 9 went on a trip recently to the Tate Modern on London’s South Bank. Textiles student Spike Conn gave us his account of the day.
“We took the coach to London, then walked down some steps by the Thames and along the riverbank to the Tate Modern, which is a huge building with lots of space. We went upstairs into the gallery and headed to an exhibit on how art has affected the modern world; there were various types of art included – there was some abstract art and some practical art, such as sculptures.
“We had a question sheet to answer as we went around many of the different exhibits; there were some crazy surrealist pieces, some very realistic looking paintings, some impressionist work – everything you can think of!
“I do textiles. I enjoy art that is either aesthetically pleasing or art that gets you thinking. I’ve had to be creative because I’m not the most academic person, so I’ve had to grow into liking art and have learnt to express myself via art. I find it more difficult to write than to express myself by other means, such as art and fashion, which is why I chose to study textiles.
“My favourite thing was a sculpture made of different coloured acrylics called “Indefinite Spaces” – it was a beautiful piece of art made up of lots of different coloured squares slotted together; it made your eyes feel a bit funny to look at it, but it was really interesting because, depending on how your looked at it, you could see different things.
“It was a very enjoyable day. Ms Newbury and Mr Iozzi took us on the trip – all the art teachers are really lovely anyway, but because they didn’t have set tasks to do, they were able to go with us and helped us to understand the art. It’s all about finding a different perspective on some of the stuff; with a lot of the art you have no clue as to what it means or what it does, or what it meant to the artist; so it’s really nice to have someone there to guide your train of thought. Sometimes it’s not even about what the artist meant, but it’s about your interpretation of it.”
We asked Spike if he would recommend the Tate Modern trip to other students:
“I would highly recommend it. I was a bit sceptical at first, but when I was actually there….I’ve never really liked art galleries, or thought I didn’t, but when I was actually there and I tried to think about the art, really looked at it and tried to feel what the artist was feeling, it was so enjoyable and I found a whole new perspective on the art itself; I was really enjoying the surrealist stuff because it’s the kind of thing you wouldn’t think to imagine yourself; but as soon as I got back from the trip, I started drawing my own surrealist stuff; so it really did inspire me to think about how I was doing my work and to find alternative ways to express myself.”
It sounds as though the students had a very enjoyable and beneficial trip – thank you to the art department – and thank you to Spike for telling us all about it.