On a gloriously sunny Friday Form 7 began their art adventure to Edinburgh.
Our first destination was the National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street. A brisk walk through Princess Street Gardens saw us energised and ready to make the most of our visit.
The Portrait Gallery was the first purpose built gallery in the world. Whilst the National Portrait Gallery in London was already displaying portraits alongside other forms of art; the building of the Scottish equivalent in 1882 was truly the first space designed and dedicated to presenting only portraiture. We were delighted to move through such a beautiful old building which looks to its history whilst ever looking to the future. Indeed, the modern portrait room would be our focus as we considered artwork from this century and the previous one.
I was impressed with the maturity that our young artists displayed as they sought out a painting or sculpture that resonated with them. A wonderfully diverse range of stimuli were discovered, recorded and discussed by our insightful Form 7’s.
Finally, we reflected on Ken Currie’s painting “The Three Oncologists” as a group and found that our art vocabulary held us in good stead to discuss this challenging piece of work with a good degree of eloquence.
As Imogen noted on her work sheet “The painting is a metaphor for when things aren’t going right that there is always some hope. They are exhausted as they have been working so hard to save people. It shows that people fear them even when they are trying to help them.”
A former teacher visiting the Gallery was quick to complement the St Mary’s children on their behaviour and enthusiasm.
Time had been moving quickly as we worked indoors and soon it was time to eat our lunch and be entertained by people celebrating Norway’s Constitutional Day in Princess St Gardens. We were bemused to watch a potato and spoon race; life in the city always seems to have something new to look at!
Then it was time to walk to Edinburgh College of Art to enjoy the Performance Costume Show. We were fortunate to have fabulous front row seats and we settled in to be entertained and bamboozled in equal measures by the stream of creativity that passed before our eyes.
Some of the reference points were familiar such as costumes for Toy Story or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. However, the students had engineered a unique spin on our preconceptions of what costume design might involve. Ecological issues were raised and responded to with wonderful costumes that questioned the manner in which we are treating our planet. Again, Form 7 showed super maturity considering that we were the youngest group in the audience.
All too soon it was time to make our way home out of the bustling city and back to the sleepy Borders. However I’m sure that we will have captured some of that vitality and colour ready to explore back in the Art Studio .
Here is one of our fabulous fashion drawings that we had worked on in preparation for our visit. There will be so much more that we can expand upon now.
Many thanks to Mrs Hardie for driving us to Edinburgh and for ensuring that we all had such a lovely day on her day off!
Jules Birdsall, 22/05/2019