Over the summer holidays, two of our LVI (Year 12) students attended art courses in different London colleges. Both colleges, Central Saint Martins and Chelsea College of Art, are part of the University of the Arts London.
LVI Art Scholar, Jane, attended three courses at Central St Martins:
"I am always interested in the fashion, design and art world. Central Saint Martins has been shaping well-known figures, and I wanted to find out myself what the art world has to offer.
I signed up for three courses during the three weeks I was in London. I went on a 'Fashion Styling and Communication' course along with 30 others from all over the world. The tutors explained what the foundation year would be like, should you gain a place on this. We were then divided into groups of four to six students, and we had different topics to choose from to make a magazine. My group chose 'Monochrome', of course there were other themes such as 'Identity', 'Society' and so on. We also went to Somerset House to see the 'Print! Tearing It Up' exhibition for more inspiration during the week. My group’s work was also put up on the short courses' Instagram page.
For the second week, I chose 'Textile art'. This was more skill based with only 15 people in our group. I learnt many sewing techniques, for example, weaving, cross stitching, making tassels and pompoms and many more. We also went to see the 250th Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, curated by Grayson Perry. It was very interesting to see different artists coming from all over the world, displaying their work through multi perspectives. As an outcome from the exhibition, there were many things made by us at the end of the week such as bags, purses and creative stitches.
The last week was much more intense as I signed up for life painting. The course started off with only six people. We had a naked figure modelling for us as we warmed up each morning using charcoal. This was for us to get movement and a feeling of how painting would be like, as charcoal is very expressive and easily moved. We concentrated on various parts of the body, varying from the skull to the torso to the whole body. As we were all positioned in different angles throughout the room, we all interpreted the model from different angles. As our figure was live, the sessions were not long. This made me paint faster in a more expressive way, making me focus more on colour, tone, shape, line and composition. It really changed the way I look at a figure, I could really see the different colours within the skin tone. We also painted on different backgrounds for more earthy atmospheres.'
Meanwhile, LVI Art Scholar, Rosemary, attended a course at Chelsea College of Art:
'From 5th-10th August I attended an Oil Painting short course for 14-17 year olds at Chelsea College of Art. Our teacher, Sarah Sparkes, let us experiment with abstract, observational still life, grey scale portraiture using a grid method to enlarge a copy from a photograph and gave us our own creative freedom for a tryptic, inspired from oil paintings in the Tate Britain next door. On the last day, we exhibited the work in our studio which was open to friends and parents. I found the course was a perfect mixture of structure and freedom, allowing us to develop our style and interests with professional teaching. I picked up how to paint with oils quickly, despite never painting with them before. It was so enriching to be with people our age from outside of school that were interested in art and who were eager to learn or develop oil painting skills.'