On Monday, Year 12 fine artists set self-targets in line with their chosen mock exam theme and with maps in hand set off to seek, discover and explore in the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery and Tate Britain. Seurat amazed in ‘real life’ with his optical colour mixing and monumental canvases constructed of dots. Some sought out Degas in accordance with their ‘backstage’ theme and his circus performers and dancers provided a spontaneous view behind the scenes. The portrait is an ever-popular subject matter with our fine artists and Lucien Freud’s trowelled on oil paint never disappoints whilst artist Julian Opie breathed life into his portraits shown on screen. At the Tate Britain, our fine artists utilised the ‘drawing board’ – a pop up artist studio inspired by David Hockney’s studio. Students enjoyed drawing at an easel and exploring the props on offer.
The photographers meanwhile had a much easier navigation as all their exhibitions were in the Tate Modern. Their day started with the recognisable imagery of collage, heavily textured or screen-printed pop art of Robert Rauschenberg. This was followed by the exquisite Modernist Photography exhibition, on loan from Sir Elton John, where many images in this exhibition have already been studied this academic year. Lastly the contemporary and controversial work of Wolfgang Tillmans brings many to question what is classified as art.