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Berlin Art Trip

Berlin Art Trip

The Art Department had the great pleasure to follow last year’s successful trip to Venice with another trip in the October half term to Berlin. The two cities could not have contrasted more from one another, giving our students a wonderful experience to learn outside the classroom and collect vital inspiration for their independent projects at both GCSE and A-level.

We had 31 students join us from Year 11 to Year 13 alongside Mrs Joseph-Stewart and Mr Beveridge, who I thank for their time during the half term break. As always the behaviour of our students was an absolute credit to Great Marlow School. What follows is an article by one of our students, and I thank her for writing it.

Mrs Sillwood, Head of Art & Design

This October the Art Department took a group of Year 11-13 art students on a trip to Berlin. On arrival, our friendly guide for the day, Jens, showed us around the city.

We ventured into both the historic east and west side and witnessed the groundbreaking and traditionally intricate architecture. During this tour, we saw the east side gallery: a collection of amazing and vibrant street art on a remaining section of the Berlin wall. I found the art inspiring and have decided to incorporate similar styles and techniques into my own projects at school. That night we visited a traditional German restaurant where I tried a curry wurst for the first time, a true representation of German cuisine!

On Saturday we awoke to a crisp day with blue skies and set off to the German parliament building and climbed up to the huge glass dome perched on the roof, designed by Sir Norman Foster. Up there was a viewing platform that gave us a panoramic view of the city. It was a weirdly disorientating experience because the mirror cladded core of the dome gave me slight ‘jelly legs’, but it was well worth the view.

Later that day we visited the Holocaust Memorial. A vast memorial sculpture that consists of rows of concrete blocks ranging from a couple inches to around 4 metres tall. The concrete blocks felt like they were engulfing you, when you reached the deepest section the experience became incredibly moving. We made visits to the contemporary art gallery, the Typography of Terror and to Checkpoint Charlie racking up a total of 25,000 steps for the day! Needless to say we all went to bed that night fairly exhausted!

The highlight of day three was the photography museum. Multiple works by the fashion photographer Helmut Newton were exhibited. The majority of works were in black and white so there was a great emphasis on angles, composition and the pose of the subjects. This is something I’m going to have in mind when I create my own photography for projects. We also visited Berlin Mauer, a restored section and platform of ‘no-man’s land’ between the dividing wall and followed this with a visit to the National Gallery of Germany.

On the last day, we visited the Panorama. This is a cylinder building that has a huge life-size image on which the Berlin wall had been painted and then digitally produced to recreate the effect of the wall during the years that it stood. It was incredibly realistic, to the point you forgot it was a picture. You could have looked at the image all day due to the insanely intricate detail.

Berlin was an amazing experience. This vibrant city is full of history and art and is bustling with culture. Due to our jam packed days I felt like we left having made the most out of our trip. We also visited Museum Island, the Berlin Mall, multiple parts of the Berlin Wall and Berlin University.

We learned so much about the important history of the city. After this trip, I feel like I have a whole new perspective on the politics going on today. The residents of Berlin ensure that the horrific events surrounding the Berlin wall and World War Two are not forgotten but learned from. I feel like I can speak on behalf of all the students that this was and enlightening and fun experience; we had a bundle of laughs and we came back fully inspired and artistically refreshed for the new year of creating art.

Written by Jessie McAuley

A-level Art and Design student Y12.



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