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On their return from their Mock exams UVth artists were given their exam project starting point – ‘Force’. So on Monday we took all 40 students to the Science Museum to begin to make visual investigations by way of drawing and photography into the subject. The visually powerful machines, models, instruments and mechanisms on display provided excellent initial stimulation for the project and Cranleighans worked hard to get the information down into sketchbooks and onto their camera phones. It will be exciting to see  how these initial drawings are developed into final outcomes; we are looking forward to their exhibition just before Long Leave in the summer.

In a similar way we took LVth artists to two galleries on Wednesday. The exhibition ‘Schwitters in Britain’ at Tate Britain highlighted the late work of the German modernist artist Kurt Schwitters; his use of found and discarded ephemera fitted beautifully into the students’ current project theme of ‘Recycle’.  As well as the Schwitters we did a quick dash to the Saatchi Gallery where an exhibition of contemporary Russian art is being shown. This added a welcome extra element to their viewing. Like the UVth the students weren’t reluctant to get involved and laboured hard, sketching and making notes in front of some quite challenging art pieces. Trips like these are hard work to organise and disrupt to a degree the students’ normal routines but they are incalculably valuable in opening eyes and raising ambition within young people’s artistic development.