During the Easter holidays, twenty-seven Art and Design students had the opportunity to visit Berlin. With generous funding from the ‘Stowe Youth Trust’, in memory of Dicky McDougall, Paddington Academy’s GCSE students were able to explore the artistic and cultural heritage of an ever changing city.
This unique opportunity enabled students to view great historical and contemporary artworks at first hand. As a site of great importance throughout European history, the pupils took full advantage of the opportunity to explore Berlin’s vast history and visited the Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews and the remains of the Berlin Wall amongst many other sites. The pupils explored the cultural history of the city with as much intrigue and respect as they showed for the Artworks that they explored. Students were able to collect materials, information and sketch from their experiences to gather ideas for future projects.
The students also attended an alternative walking tour, where they had the opportunity to learn more about the city’s contemporary culture and to explore the wealth of Street Art that adorns much of Berlin and contributes to the city’s ever changing landscape. Students enjoyed attending a workshop where they were able to experiment with new materials and to create contemporary artworks of their own!
Students visited a variety of Art museums and galleries, including the National Gallery, Martin Groupius Bau, Museum Berggruen and the Max Liebermann Villa where they analysed Art work and presented back to the group. So impressive was the quality of the analysis from students that members of the public were stopping to listen! They also made lots of sketches and notes in response to the Art they saw and since their return to the UK, the students have begun work on a project, in which they have contextualised the relationship between the social and political history and the Culture, Art and Design in Berlin. This project will culminate in an exhibition in October of the exciting work produced as a result of the investigations, discussions and personal artistic responses that would not have been possible without this phenomenal trip. Along with family and friends, the trustees from the ‘Stowe Youth Trust’ will be invited to celebrate the students’ achievements and judge a prize for the best work!
One student described the trip as the ‘best experience of my whole life’.