On Friday Form 7 headed to Edinburgh ready for a visual feast in the shape of time spent in the Modern Art Gallery and a schools performance of degree work at Edinburgh College of Art.
As we arrived at the gallery we were struck by the volume of visitors all desperate to see the extended Joan Eardley exhibition. It really was fabulous to see so many people queuing to come into the gallery and it was tangible proof that art really does matter to so many people.
We made our way to the reconstructed Studio of Eduardo Paolozzi where every little element had been transported from his London Studio on his death in 2005 and painstakingly repositioned as the artist had left it. A fascinating peep into the creative processes of Paolozzi, a man who revelled in the collecting and reusing of things that the rest of us might simply overlook. Reinforcing the concept that it is the purpose of an artist to notice things. A quick look at his monumental sculpture “Vulcan” followed as we were beginning to feel rather crushed by the crowds of people.
Out in the fresh air we looked at Paolozzi’ s “Master of the Universe” and began to make the connections between man and machine that we had seen inside the gallery. A little drawing time followed before rumbling tummies took us across the road to Modern One where we enjoyed our delicious picnic lunch.
However there certainly wasn’t time to relax as we had looked, we had talked and it was now time to do! Armed with card, bamboos, wire etc. we began to make our own response to the things that we had seen and the environment that we found ourselves in. Working in pairs the ideas of how to construct an interesting 3-d structure came thick and fast as we balanced our imaginings with the technicalities of making. Our wonderful structures existed for a little while in the company of Antony Gormley, Henry Moore and of course Paolozzi. I’m sure these great masters would have raised a little smile at Form 7’s enthusiasm!
Next it was across town to enjoy the ECA Performance Costume Show. Delighted with our front row seats the Form 7 fashionista’s settled back to take in 23 interpretations of individual briefs. Some were easily accessible such as the first year’s group project inspired by “James and the Giant Peach”. Puppets and puppeteers merged together in a riot of colour. “The Tiger who came to Tea” was another favourite with its nod to Art Deco. However you will have to ask a Form 7 which one they liked best as we all had our favourites. Some of the work on display was more challenging for our young audience but I’m delighted to report that we approached everything on offer with appreciation. While not understanding all of the reference points the children were very open in their approach to other people’s creativity.
With weary eyes we stepped back into an Edinburgh reality chatting and sharing the experience that we had just had with charming enthusiasm. Now we began to realise just what a factory of Imagineering ECA is. Perhaps it is hardly surprising to read in the credits of the programme that students have gone on to work on the likes of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, “Star Wars Rogue One” and “Game of Thrones” to name just a few.
The ECA Degree Show will be open to the public from the 3rd-11th of June and is always worth a visit.
Finally, some very weary children arrived home with a huge array of possibilities that we will tap into in the Art Studio. Many thanks must be given to Mrs Hardie for organising the trip and driving and to Mrs Harvey for also transporting us safely through busy Edinburgh. Thanks also go to Mrs Gordon who continually helped us through a very eventful day. The final thanks that I would like to give are to the children of Form 7 whose company was delightful and who grabbed any opportunities with both hands and a polite thank you!
Photographs by Mrs Harvey
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