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September 28th 2017

Photography, Matisse, and Tea

On Tuesday, 19th September, all Sixth Form Art students travelled to London to visit two specific art exhibitions: Gregory Crewdson 'Cathedral of the Pines' at the Photographers' Gallery, and Henri Matisse at the Royal Academy.

Gregory Crewdson is a famous American photographer who, in the exhibition we visited, created thoughtful compositions with doll-like characters and in surrealist, run-down environments in nature. Vanessa, Year 13, stated that in this exhibition, “The use of space stood out to me, the shapes I saw within each composition made the pictures flow, like the river in them”. Emily, also Year 13, exclaimed, “I was interested by this man because his art was both unrealistic and realistic at the same time. This was perplexing.”

Our teacher, Ms Lockheart, showed us how even the arrangement of the exhibition showed a story; the river in the photos continued around the exhibition room, as if the characters in the photos were within the same forest environment, all experiencing their stories within the same space.

The second artist, Henri Matisse, experimented with many different mediums. His biggest theme in his exhibition at the Royal Academy was how objects tell a story. He was an avid antique collector. I personally loved this exhibition because of his use of contrasting textures and fabrics from all around the world. He did lots of very quick work too, making him seem somewhat spontaneous. In addition, some of the faces he painted seemed like dolls or ‘objects’, much like the Crewdson exhibition; one being very empty – this had a profound effect on me. Her face seemed as if she was ‘absorbing you’, the viewer, into her portrait.

However, not all of the trip was seeing exhibitions, there was plenty of drinking tea and eating in the London’s sun too!

- Emma, Year 13

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