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15th November 2021

Critical and Contextual Studies Trip to Cambridge

Form 7 pupils who are studying Critical and Contextual Studies enjoyed an educational trip to Cambridge, visiting a number of galleries in the city. 

Director of Art Mrs Elinor Brass tells us more:-

“It was so good for the soul to be back visiting galleries again and this was an action-packed trip with plenty to see.  The group started off at Wysing Art Centre in the countryside just outside Cambridge, which is a dynamic organisation that has a programme of residencies, events and exhibitions.   Wysing is supportive of practising artists encouraging experimentation and research and there were lots of ideas and information about this organisational approach for the students to take on.  First off, there were some fascinating curators’ talks, followed by a chance to see an immersive exhibition which pushed the students to reflect on what an exhibition could be. 

Our next stop was Kettle’s Yard which is a house once the home of curator Jim Ede and his musician wife Helen.  It demonstrated to the students how art can be curated and encountered in domestic spaces and there is a real democracy of display with works by well-known artists such as Henry Moore and Constantin Brancusi, displayed alongside beautiful found pebbles and freshly cut flowers.  Once we had spent time in the house, we continued to work with the gallery’s education team to explore a new exhibition in the contemporary gallery space which is part of the art centre.  Lumen is a new exhibition by Sutapa Biswas and explores themes such as migration and identity.  It was such a rich exhibition with a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography and video.  The students were challenged to consider their connections with the work, to map their movements and think about their emotional responses. 

Finally, the students had time to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum.  They were considering the way artworks and artefacts were displayed and organised as well as the interpretation and marketing materials on offer.   The students are devising a fictional exhibition as part of the Critical and Contextual Studies course and so this was such a valuable experience for them to consider what they connected with, what they understood and what was missing.”

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