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Gaining artistic inspiration in beautiful Cornwall

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Every year, we start the AS Art & Design course with a residential trip to a major artistic site in the UK. This year’s destination was Cornwall and in particular the areas around St Ives and Newlyn. The trip gives Lower Sixth students the opportunity to put their studies into context as well as gather information at first hand to take their practical work forward. We base ourselves in Penzance for the four days and explore different areas of the Cornish Peninsula.

Arriving on Thursday, after a four-hour drive, we visited Marazion beach taking photographs and collecting interesting objects to use back in the studio. As the afternoon progressed we journeyed to the harbour in Newlyn. The tide was in and the harbour was bustling with activity. Students took photographs in the late evening sunshine concentrating on textures, colours and forms.

Friday was spent in St Ives visiting locations that inspired artists as well as exploring museums and art galleries searching for inspiration and ideas for future development. We then went to the Leach Pottery before going along the coast to the Levant Mine. With the weather closing in we took shelter at The Kurt Jackson Foundation in St Just before returning to the YHA Penzance. After supper the evening was spent updating sketch books and completing sketches started during the day.

Early on Saturday we returned to Newlyn to draw the boats and buildings around the harbour. A quick visit to the Newlyn Art Gallery and a restorative coffee led to a quick journey down the road to Mousehole and more opportunities to draw and explore galleries.

In the afternoon we visited the Penlee Art Gallery in Penzance to see the work of the Victorian Narrative painters housed in the collection there. A brisk walk took us to The Exchange in Penzance where we saw an exhibition of more contemporary artists. Following a few more ventures into more local art galleries, and some doughnuts, we set off for Sennan Cove for some early evening scavenging. Once again we worked late after supper consolidating the work completed during the day back at the YHA.

On Sunday we awoke to a very misty day. We packed and left the YHA by nine o clock and were soon on Praa Sands for more drawing and scavenging. After an hour watching the surfers and the mist lift we went to Godolphin House. We were very fortunate to get into the restored house for a guided tour by Ann Clegg of the Friends of Godolphin who spoke energetically about the history of the Godolphin family and the building that the National Trust have restored. This was followed by more drawing and photography around the site.

An exhausted group of Lower Sixth slept for most of the two hours to Exeter, finally arriving back at school in the evening.

The work completed in Cornwall will be the driving force for the students’ studio work. They will develop their studies in Painting, Drawing & Printmaking, Three Dimensional Design, Textile Design and Photography. We look forward to seeing the individual outcomes.

Nick Eggleton, Head of Art