Week 27: Absent (Study Visit)

14/05/2018

I was absent from tonights session due to running an off-site study visit with my Level 3 Graphic Design & Photography students. We went to the Southampton City Art Gallery to look at the work of George Shaw and the current rotation of collected artworks on display; as a bonus, we got a sneak peak at the BA(Hons) Photography studetns final show work from Southampton Solent University. Overall, it was a good day, even though the studetns were itching to ditch the art in favour of going shopping! 

Study visits, regardless of the subject can be a great resource, which can support differentiated learning and expose studetns to alternative ways of looking and analysing material. With my specialist subject, visiting art galleries and museums to see exhibitions is great in providing the students with primary visual research. Building upon our previous study visit to the Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth, I wanted to make the studetns aware of the different types of galleries. With Aspex, it functions mainly as a visiting exhibition space, where work from national and international artists are exhibited throughout the year; Southampton City Art Gallery also has such a space, however, they have further spaces which exhibit work from their growing permanent collection. They boast the following:

‘Southampton City Art Gallery holds one of the finest collections of art in the south of England, and holds Designated Outstanding status by Arts Council England. Currently comprising over 5,000 works and spanning eight centuries, the collection is an outstanding educational resource that can trace the history of European art from the Renaissance to the present. The core, however, is British twentieth century and contemporary art.’

Visiting galleries is not just about looking at artwork, but it is about interpreting the wider message and function of the art at that time and place; questioning the works titles and arrangement can support a more thorough examination. To guide and support the learners cognitive and analytical development I prepare short questionnaires for them to complete whilst they are looking at the artwork. For this particular visit the questions were:

1) What was your favourite piece of artwork and why? Consider form, colour, content.

2) What do you think the artist is trying to convey in their artwork?

3) Can you see any stories forming within the artwork; if so, what are they?

4) If you could change anything about the artwork, what would it be? And Why?

5) Is the overall collection of art on display appealing to all? Comment further on which sections were more engaging than others.

I am already planning next academic years study visits; the fourth quarter of 2018 coincides with the Brighton Photo Biennial, so that would be a good one, coupled with a chance of viewing the local graffiti artwork. There are various events in London, so perhaps a visit to the V&A would be good.

I am currently on target with my coursework, having completed my essay for unit UET12, ‘Teaching in a Specialist Area’ I have only two more units to complete and a couple more observations. So far this course has been engaging, where units such as UV51238, ‘Action Research’ has provided me with new avenues of research and study.

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