Year 7 spent Tuesday at the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, having a tour of the galleries including Allan Grainger’s photography exhibition, “Downland Gloaming”.  Grainger is a local photographer whose moody shots of the local landscape on the South Downs capture the magical essence of dusk, the time between day and night.

The focus of this cross-curricular Art/English trip was to examine how an artist can create atmosphere through their work and through the contrast of opposites – in this case, darkness and light.  Year 7 are currently reading “Jekyll & Hyde” in English, a novel famous for using darkness to symbolise evil.

Comments from some of the Year 7 pupils on the exhibition show how reflective and curious our pupils are:

Honor G wrote: “It made me feel that dusk is a mysterious time of day where your eyes are just adjusting so you may see things that actually aren’t there; it is an interesting time of day that I haven’t really thought about until now.”

Honor F summed up the exhibition in just three words: “eerie, beautiful, natural.”

Efe O wrote: “The exhibition made me realise that there is something positive to be found in everything. Even in the dark, there is light.”

Pupils were encouraged to explore the galleries and identify works of art which appealed to them and which created atmosphere.  They then explored their own ability to create atmosphere in the workshop sessions, firstly through collaborative charcoal sketches and then through print-making with coloured inks.

Year 7 particularly enjoyed the freedom to create during this workshop session.  Kitty RR wrote: “I loved the workshop – it was so fun and I had the freedom of not having to worry about neatness or precision. My hand flowed and it felt so free!”

Tracey Konyu and Emily Platt