Recently our Upper Sixth visited the National Portrait Gallery and The Courtauld Gallery in London. Read about their trip from Director of Art, Mr Nairne:
How artists depict people in images made through photography, drawing, paint and clay was the question for this trip, as Year 13 (Upper Sixth) A Level artists visited the National Portrait Gallery and the Courtauld Gallery.
At the National Portrait Gallery, as well as the main collection, we visited the exhibition Yevonde: Light and Colour – showing work from this relatively little known but innovative mid-twentieth Century Photographer. What a delight her work was, with lots for our students to absorb in terms of colour and well-planned compositions and shoots.
At the Courtauld, as well as the amazing impressionist and other work in the main collection, we had especially booked to see Black British artist, Claudette Johnson. Her exhibition Presence, showed large mixed media portrait drawings that powerfully and sensitively depicted Black men and women. Our students enjoyed sketching from these commanding works.
Both galleries have recently been refurbished and their new layouts and rehangs made for gorgeous looking. At the NPG, combinations of photography, sculpture and painting within one room, depicting women and men of note through the ages made for exciting viewing. How did artists show these people? What compositions, colours, and styles did they use to convey something of their status, and in the more contemporary work, their personality and persona?