Salvador Dalí was a Spanish surrealist artist recognised and remembered for his extravagant and innovative artwork, which spread across film, painting, sculpture, and product and set design. Dalí used Impressionism and the Renaissance masters as stimuli for his work, before growing a strong affinity for Cubism. The 1920s saw the birth of his passion for Surrealism, where he joined a surrealist group in 1929 and produced his most notable artwork – ‘The Persistence of Memory’ – in 1931.
The exhibition showcased Dalí’s masterpieces, alongside contextual information that described events that occurred during the production of his works. There were three floors in the exhibition: a floor comprised of rows of his artworks; a 360° immersive room containing holograms and artificial intelligence; and a virtual reality experience of Dalí’s iconic arts. The consensus from the students was complete enjoyment and shock for the visually stunning graphics in the VR experience; we were in his art pieces, able to interact with different objects painted in the art.
We would like to thank Enca Marza Porcar and Mungo Winkley for organising and hosting such an incredible outing. For those seeking an outing with family and friends, I strongly recommend this exhibition. Regardless of whether one is familiar with the work of Dalí, this experience immerses you in a new world – one where you feel as though you are the artwork.
By Ana Simmons, Head of Lower School and Teacher of Ceramics
The Block 5 BAC Art students visited the Pitt Rivers and Natural History Museums in Oxford on Wednesday to draw artefacts from their collections. An important part of our course is for students to experience works of art and objects in the flesh as reference material, this helps them experience the scale, physicality and subtle intricacies that they cannot always experience on a screen or in a book.
The students enjoyed studying the eclectic mix of objects and have returned to school with a strong collection of observational drawings to support the start of their final projects. We are looking forward to seeing how they explore and develop these studies as they work towards creating their final outcomes in their chose disciplines, be it print, painting, 3D or ceramics.
By Jake Heslop, Sophie Spencer, Bryn Griffiths and Jack Bowdery, Block 5
From 21-26 September, Block 5 Geography students visited Norway with Matt Meyer, Hannah Dennis and Henry Stoot to explore glaciated landscapes and hydropower as part of the Geography BAC. This once in a lifetime trip was definitely one to remember, with a multitude of challenging activities including fjord kayaking, hiking, lake swimming and, for the more intrepid, rock climbing and scrambling up sheer cliff faces of fierce waterfalls.
Nature constantly surrounded us, with magisterial mountains and ice blue mineral rich waters enveloping the small town of Odda, where we were based in Hotel Trolltunga. This was a varied trip which included visits to places of tranquil beauty as well as the hustle and bustle of the UNESCO World Heritage site marina of Bergen. The incredibly friendly people – and the overpriced airport food! – left an impression on us that will remain for a long time. We loved Norway and, now back in the UK, we’re missing the adventure and beautiful landscapes.
On 28 February, those of us in the 6.1 Classics class visited the British Museum’s Troy: Myth & Reality exhibition. It was an extraordinarily well curated collection of anything and everything relating to Troy, in order to help us better understand The Iliad by Homer.
The museum had lots of ancient pieces of art and stories relating to Troy. They had lots of vases and other items of treasury dating back roughly 4,000 years. The artefacts came from museums across the world and also reflected that these stories have inspired artists, sculptors, potters, writers and musicians of every century. A highlight was the massive wood-framed Trojan horse that hung over the main room to bring us into the Trojan world.
On 24 January, 6.2 Physics students were fortunate enough to travel to the largest laboratory for particle research to date – the Conseil Européen Pour La Recherche Nucléaire (CERN) in Geneva. It provides physicists with the ability to accelerate particles to approximately 1.08 billion kilometres per hour, while then observing the results of their collisions.
The first day saw us visiting the Red Cross Museum, an exhibition dedicated to the international humanitarian organisation that brings relief to people in the event of war or natural disaster. In the evening, we visited the History of Science Museum in Lake Side Park. On display were over 800 instruments, mainly used by Swiss scientists, dating back to the 17th century.
By Lucy McIlwraith, Teacher of English
Photos by Matilda McMorrow, Librarian
In the English department at Bedales, we like to give students the opportunity to venture outside the classroom to gain a deeper understanding of literature. Over the last couple of years, we’ve visited Thomas Hardy’s cottage in Dorset while studying Tess of the D’Urbervilles; hosted a tea party as part of our work on The Importance of Being Earnest; enjoyed a midnight feast of exotic sensory delights to go with John Keats’ poem, The Eve of St Agnes; and held a fireside evening of poetry-by-heart for Block 3’s study of the oldest forms of English literature.
Our latest venture earlier this week gave a 6.1 English Literature class a first-hand experience of writing poetry in finest Hampshire mud. The set are studying Seamus Heaney’s first poetry collection, Death of a Naturalist, which includes lots of descriptions of water, slime and bogs. In order to get under the skin of poems that feature phrases such as ‘bubbles gargled delicately’ and ‘the squelch and slap of soggy peat’, it seemed like a good idea to don wellies (with thanks to Outdoor Work for lending some to white-trainered students) and wallow in the plentiful mud at Ashford Hangers Nature Reserve.
By Georgie du Boulay, Block 5
Photo by Jake Scott, Block 5
In early December, a group of Block 5 Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE) students ventured to Florence, Italy, along with Clare Jarmy, Al McConville, Alastair Harden and Nick Meigh.
On our first day, we took a coach to Siena, where we visited its cathedral and the Palazzo Pubblico, where we sat and discussed Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Allegory of Good and Bad Government – a series of three fresco panels which line three walls of the room in the palace where Siena’s chief magistrates, Sala dei Nove, held their meetings – with our upcoming utopia projects in mind.
For the rest of the trip we stayed in Florence, exploring the widely celebrated Le Gallerie Delgi Uffizi and other renowned Florentine cultural highlights, as well as visiting the Santa Croce Christmas market for some festive gift shopping!
There, we were blown away by the richness of the art and the stories behind the famous paintings that defined the Pre-Raphaelite era of 1850-1900. Seeing the women of the Pre-Raphaelite movement’s stories being focused on was both a moving and fascinating experience. The realisation of how much poetry, art and inspiration these women contributed to the movement was incredible.
The 10-day Global Awareness trip to India at half term was one that will stay with the 17 students and three teachers who attended for the rest of their lives.
For the first three days, we were immersed in the dusty air and sun-baked atmosphere of Delhi sightseeing, which was jaw-dropping itself – yet nothing could compare to the timeless and unforgettable experience we had in McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamsahla in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It was a brilliant introduction to volunteering! From the mass clean-up of the streets, to the eye-opening mutual learning with the Tibetan Refugees programme, each day was full of exciting activities that we had never done before.
By Alastair Harden, Teacher of Classics and Day Housemaster
For this year’s exchange visit to the Putney School in the United States, Chloe Hamill and I have escorted eight intrepid Bedalians as they shrug off a week’s recuperation in the October half term for a fortnight of honest toil in the Vermont countryside. The trip is part of an annual programme which places our students in a setting that draws enlightening points of comparison with what we offer at Bedales.
The Putney School’s entire structure is built around student responsibility, from washing the dishes to milking the cows, raking the leaves and sorting the recycling, in an educational environment where the onus is clearly on the students to manage their education alongside the smooth running of the community. Each year we look forward to this quiet hive for inspiration, and each year the students bring home big questions and big ideas.
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