Art Foundation Course Team Leader Gareth Roberts studied at Central Saint Martins, so he knows London like the back of his hand. He planned an amazing trip to galleries and other places of artistic interest in London, which involved hopping on and off the Victoria Line. Our students were able to visit: The Lethaby Gallery, The House of Illustration, Savile Row, the Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Ordovas, The Royal Academy of Art, Newport Gallery (Damien Hirst), Lambeth Palace, Brunswick House historical reclaim centre and finally Tate Britain all in one day! There may have been a few sore feet at the end of the day, but students, whatever their focus, came back inspired and ready for their Final Exhibition.
(To see more photos, go to: Art Foundation on the Victoria Line: Long Road Facebook
We saw a range of places with the aim of giving students the versatility to develop their unique creative pathways. This ties in with the assessment criteria attached to the Foundation final unit / exhibition.
I planned the day along the Victoria Line, knowing that access to all places would be quick and easy. What’s more: the moment we got into King’s Cross Station we were able to view a couple of galleries north of the station itself.
So here we go…
1) The Lethaby Gallery is dedicated to the creative talents of students, staff and alumni of Central Saint Martins. From fashion and art to design and performance, it publicly celebrates the College’s past and present while enthusing/stimulating/inspiring and provoking about our collective futures.
The current exhibition surrounded…
One hundred years after the Representation of the People Act 1918, which extended voting rights to some women, issues of gender, race, access and inclusivity are back at the centre of public debate and turbulent global politics have reinvigorated engagement, fuelled participation and normalised dissent.
Taking the ideas of representation – and misrepresentation – as a starting point, this exhibition brings together creative practitioners who challenge established norms, offer alternative perspectives and seek to bring about change.
Moving on to….
2) The House Of Illustration
Hundreds of original objects including food packaging, ticket stubs and stamps, together with hand-painted propaganda posters and comics, give an unprecedented insight into everyday life in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). The exhibition displays the collection of Nicholas Bonner, the foremost expert on North Korean graphic culture, tourism and film, who has led tours to the country for 25 years.
This was useful for our graphics students and visual communication specialists.
3) Savile Row
Savile Row in Mayfair. Known principally for its traditional bespoke tailoring for men. A range of tailor’s shops were looked at, and students were able to assess the Burlington arcade. This was most interesting for the fashion / textiles pathway students. Students had direct conversations with people that worked within the industry.
4) Hauser & Wirth Gallery
Students viewed work by….
Lorna Simpson’s inaugural exhibition at Hauser & Wirth London, ‘Unanswerable’, features new and recent work across three different media: painting, photographic collage and sculpture. Simpson came to prominence in the 1980s through her pioneering approach to conceptual photography, which featured striking juxtapositions of text and staged images, and raised questions about the nature of representation, identity, gender, race and history. These concerns are reflected throughout the exhibition to present the artist’s expanding and increasingly multi-disciplinary practice today.
Ordovas is a private gallery dealing in the best of 20th century and contemporary art with a museum-quality exhibition programme. Founded on a commitment to and passion for art, and grounded in 20 years of specialist experience, it offers maximum discretion and unrivalled access to public and private collections globally, helping collectors, whether established or new, to navigate the art world. Pilar Ordovas founded her gallery after 13 years at Christie’s, where she was International Director and Deputy Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art in Europe, and two years as a Director of Gagosian Gallery in London.
6) The Royal Academy Of Art
Exhibitions ranging from a series of different specialisms. Students were allowed to target areas in the gallery where they thought they could carry out the most research to inform their own creative work: anything from Richard Deacon to Tracey Emin.
Students then walked to Green Park past the iconic Ritz, Fortnum and Mason (where some had been for lunch to collect packaging for project work), then picked up the tube to ….
7) Newport Gallery- Damian Hirst
Showing two artists- Exhibition of work by American artist John Copeland (b.1976). Copeland’s first UK solo exhibition features twenty-five paintings, dating from 2009 to 2017, taken from the Murderme collection. Plus an exhibition of work by British artist Rachel Howard (b.1969). The show is the first UK exhibition of Howard’s series of paintings, ‘Repetition is Truth – Via Dolorosa’. This body of work was the subject of a 2011 exhibition at Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, Italy, curated by Mario Codognato.
Newport Street Gallery presents exhibitions of work drawn from Damien Hirst’s art collection. It is housed within a renovated Victorian scenery-painting studio in Vauxhall, south London.
Students loved the concept surrounding Pharmacy 2 – Damien Hirst’s new restaurant in collaboration with Mark Hix.
8) Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace is the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, his family and two religious communities. Students took note of the historical builds / design and juxtaposition between new and old.
9) Historical reclaim centre: Brunswick House in central London contains a mixture of fine furniture, antiques, statuary and decorative ornaments. Students walked through the gallery spaces to see collects of artefacts / antiques and were encouraged to speak to the staff, who told them about the background surrounding the items within the spaces. They also were informed of the monthly lectures, given by industry experts, which they are invited to attend.
Finally moving onto…
10) The Tate Britain
Students were allowed to see static exhibition but also viewed….
‘All Too Human celebrates’ the painters in Britain who strove to represent human figures, their relationships and surroundings in the most intimate of ways.
It features artists including Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon alongside rarely-seen work from their contemporaries including Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego. Many of them lived or live in London, drawn to the multicultural capital from around the world. Three important works by Francis Bacon will be shown in the UK for the first time in at least three decades.
Positive comments were made by all the students at the end of the day! We all slept very well last night after all that walking!