Thirds Trip to The Tate Britain

The entire cohort of Third Formers enjoyed a day of creative exploration on Field Day, as they descended to the banks of the Thames to experience the stunning artworks on display at Tate Britain.

The boys were divided into small groups and navigated the gallery, engaging in a variety of artistic activities outlined in their bespoke booklets, specially crafted for the occasion. It was a tremendously successful day, with some impressive works both observed and created.

Well done to all involved and thanks to the organisers!

Felix N. (3rds) reports below:

Imagine the scene. Seventy boys exiting Westminster Underground Station during rush hour. This is where I found myself last Friday morning, enveloped by a cacophony of noise. Just two hours earlier, we had been in the comparative calm of the exam hall in Moor Park. How my day had changed!

You might be wondering - what would be the reason to leave such a serene scene?

The Thirds Art Trip to Tate Britain, of course!

We left the crowded station and walked past the Houses of Parliament. As we passed The Palace of Westminster (a palace in Saxon times, now 1008 years old), we all paused to stare admiringly  at the imposing buildings towering above us. We continued on through parks and gardens where the bulbs of Spring bloomed, until we finally reached our destination: Tate Britain. Not to be confused with Tate Modern, the Tate Britain is distinguishable by its Georgian architecture and the magnificent lions carved onto external pillars. Patiently, we sat outside the museum and waited to enter.  

On advice, we deposited our bags into cramped lockers and then ascended the spiral staircase, where a large chandelier dominated the ceiling. We set about hunting for room 26, where we were advised we would find 'No Woman No Cry’ by Chris Ofili, which depicts a crying woman and won a Turner Prize in 1998. Upon the moment of our discovery, we were given the task of painting a similar profile portrait of our friends.  It was tiring trying to keep our heads up whilst our friends’ scribbled faces in workbooks!

Passing through rooms filled with more abstract art, we encountered one that contained industrial equipment, quite an odd piece of art. We then moved onto lavish oil paintings of courtiers, nobles, and monarchs, where we undertook an activity, followed by finding a room filled with paintings from the 1700s, a time of regal empires.

Lunch rolled around swiftly (to the delight of many ravenous boys). We sat in circles with all our friends, chatting and enjoying the fine spring weather.

After lunch we explored a room of abstract art, and our new task was to construct poems about WWI, expressing how we might feel if we were the French machine gunner depicted in the painting by C.R.W Nevinson.

Our final focus was abstract art, which can be peculiar. We encountered sculptures resembling Star Wars and images of fantastical worlds far from our own. Inspired by what we had seen, our final endeavour was to draw a zebra and a parachuting man, which formed quite an abstract scene. We tried to consider the story of our artwork as we created it, asking questions such as what would happen next? Would the zebra leave? Would the Parachutist land on the zebra? There were many possibilities. 

As fast as the trip had started it ended. It was a day full of art and imagination, which hopefully spurred boys on to make creations of their own. Thanks to the staff who made it possible.

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