Gasworks welcomes schools to make regular visits to exhibitions and open studios, and as part of this commitment Gasworks are running a year long programme of artist-led school trips. Since September 2008, Gasworks has continued working with classes from Norwood school, Lilian Baylis Technology school, London Nautical, Charles Edward Brooke and Stockwell Park High school, as well as numerous Primary schools.
Our most recent school trips were in June 2009, when artist Fay Nicolson lead workshops inspired by Everything has a name, or the potential to be named, an exhibition exploring how European colonial powers appropriated the natural environment and peoples in the Americas. Primary school pupils responded to Maria Thereza Alves, This is not an Apricot, (2009) and Alberto Baraya's Herbario de Plantas artificiales (Herbarium de Artificial Plants), (2001-present), creating and naming their very own strange fruit which for the duration of the class visits became part of the exhibition alongside Alves' piece. Secondary school workshops focused on themes such as the development of international trade links and how these were used to communicate certain interpretations of history and the re-categorisation of peoples, lands and fauna. Responding to artists Luis Camnitzer's Amanaplanacanalpanama, (1995) and Jimmie Durham's Black Walnut, (2005), Year 10 pupils created their own personal ways to represent trade and history while Year 12 pupils explored the reinterpretation of different images and narratives.
In March and April 2009, secondary school pupils worked with artist Abigail Hunt responding to the exhibition A Long Time Between SunsA Long Time Between Suns by the Otolith Group. Pupils watched the films by The Otolith Group,looking at different interpretations between words and imagery, archiving and documenting history, and preconceptions of the future. Stockwell Park High School met with residency artist Cinthia MarcelleCinthia Marcelle to discuss her practice and explore ideas related to the transformation of their school buildings. Primary schools explored reoccurring patterns in the Otolith Group’s film pieces as well as their own environments, making pattern boards and machines for the future.
Developing out of a dialogue between Gasworks' Participation staff, teachers and artists, we aim to make our programmes accessible to young people, and to make Gasworks recognised as a resource to local schools. Over the course of the academic year 2008/09, Gasworks continues to invite schools to book a visit to take part in discursive and practical activities led by experienced artist educators. These visits take inspiration from our contemporary art programmes, and can be tailored to the needs and interests of the pupils and the school curriculum.
This programme builds on the success of a pilot project of school trips delivered in 2007 based around the exhibition Holiday In, and we aim to create sustainable relationships with schools through a continuation of short term trips, or through the development of longer term projects. Most recent projects include You Tell Me? with year 9 pupils at Archbishop Tenison’s School, and Every Bodies Talking with year 10 pupils at Lilian Baylis Technology School.
If you are from a school and would like to book a trip to Gasworks either to view the current exhibition or to participate in the program, please contact Katie Orr on 020 7587 5202.