Woodford Green students curate Guildhall Art Gallery’s exhibition on rare Victorian artefacts
PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 November 2016
Sixth form students got a unique chance to takeover one of London’s finest art galleries and give tours of a Victorian exhibition to customers.
Year 12 and 13 pupils from Trinity Catholic High School, in Mornington Road, Woodford Green, participated in the Guildhall Art Gallery’s Takeover Day on Friday.
After several preparatory sessions from the gallery’s experts, in the morning the students gave tours of the Victorian Decoded: Art and Telegraphy exhibition, in central London.
The sixth formers had to explain rare and never-seen-before artefacts including original code books, newspapers and a Roald Dahl inspired messaging machine.
The paintings explored the impact of telegraphy on the artistic imagination and wider social consciousness in the 19th century.
Art teacher Phil Chapman told the Recorder the interactive aspect really helped the students.
“What was different about this gallery visit was the sixth formers were in charge of the day and running the exhibition,” he explained.
In the afternoon Year 7 pupils came in and were given some sessions by their peers.
Mr Chapman continued: “The kids were completely involved, it was really valuable that they were led by people who they look up to.
“I’ve done some sessions since with the Year 7s, and their understanding of how the Victorians used art science. They were actually debating it amongst themselves.”
Katherine Pearce, curator for the City of London Corporation, who run the gallery, said: “Our Takeover Day aims to empower students and open their eyes to the world of art, science, and an important period of world history when near-instantaneous communication across continents was made possible for the first time.
“The students were key in helping our visitors get to grips with the exhibition, and we enjoyed welcoming them to Guildhall Art Gallery and hearing their insights.”
The Takeover Day was organised by the charity Kids in Museums and King’s College London, and Mr Chapman is keen for Trinity Catholic students to return.
“If we the opportunity we would love to do it again,” he added.
The exhibition, which runs until January 22 2017, marks the 150th anniversary of laying the first transatlantic telegraph cable to connect Europe and America.
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