Kamar Finn, Head of Art at The International School, and Louise Arnould, Sixth Form Art and Textiles Teacher tell us about their recent trip.
By Kamar Finn, Head of Art at The International School
During the penultimate week of term, year 10 GCSE students at d’Overbroeck’s International School and Lower Sixth Art and Textiles students made their way to the coastal town of St. Ives, in Cornwall. Situated on the south west coast, St. Ives has long been an attraction point for artists, due to its beautiful scenery and its unique light, leading to the setting up of a buzzing artist community, including some of the most prominent avant-garde artists of the early 20th Century.
A view from the harbour
These are Gloria (left) and Dora (right) sitting sketching at the harbour.
We stayed in a hostel in the heart of the town, making everything accessible by foot. Purpose-built for educational groups, we were able to have the hostel to ourselves and the staff were as welcoming and friendly as one could hope for. Our days were long, and packed, but full of making, laughter and fun. Each morning after breakfast we walked down to the harbour to sketch or collect materials for the day. We had an artist-led workshop each morning, benefitting from very experienced local artists and venues, such as the famous St. Ives School of Painting, Leach Pottery and local artist Greg Humphries. The session in the morning was drawing-based, and we spent it either on the island looking at the sea and hills, at the harbour looking at the boats and structures or on the cobble-stone lanes looking at the architecture.
After a freshly baked Cornish pasty for lunch, we spent the afternoon at the studios overlooking the beach. There we developed the sketches and studies from the morning session into colour, relief and collage. The students worked with genuine interest, focus and produced independent outcomes. Across our 4 days in St. Ives, we explored clay work, painting, drawing, relief building, painting with sand, sand sculpture and cyanotype photography on the beach. I was so impressed with the students’ never-ending energy and engagement, despite leaving the hostel at 9am and returning at 9pm!
We learnt to balance rocks on top of each other, defying the laws of gravity; we learnt to eat ice creams with our backs to walls so that the seagulls don’t swoop down and grab it from our hands; we learn how to shift from the representational towards the abstract; we learnt to see St. Ives through the eyes of its various artists.
Students sketching the architecture during an artist-led workshop
It was an incredible week, the skills learnt, fun and memories made will stay with us for life. And in Bahar’s words (year 10 student from Iran): “you know Kamar, this was not like a school trip, but like a holiday with friends”.
By Louise Arnould, Art and Textiles Teacher
The Textiles and Art Lower Sixth students had a productive week.
Here are our students having a briefing with Artist Greg Humphries for the day’s drawing activities in and around the town of St Ives, Cornwall. Our 5 day accommodation was in Cohort Hostel in the heart of St. Ives, a few minutes’ walking distance from the idyllic harbour.
Greg took the students through a series of drawing techniques that encouraged the students to ‘feel’ their way around the scenes open to them, and recorded these in their sketchbooks.
Barbara Hepworth Museum
Leach Pottery A-Level students
At the Tate St. Ives
The 3D paper sculptures and sketchbooks are from a workshop with Camilla from the St. Ives School of Painting. A great drawing development workshop!
More images from the trip: