Pupils from Morpeth Secondary School, Tower Hamlets, East London visited Reading School of Art and ArtLab to consider what an arts and creative degree might look like, what kinds of activities, questions and pursuits art might house and to discus fears and practicalities of transition to HE with our students and recent graduates.
The group, currently studying a-levels in a wide range of subjects from media, to textiles, psychology and business, all had an investment in creative activities whether through their studies or extra curricular activities which included dance, spoken word, fashion and photography.
During the day they took part in a a number of activities including responding to first year BA students audio works developed for Tate Exchange, and discussing the sensory, physical and emotional responses to the audio journeys which included two which mixed meditation and centering exercises with news media, reporting and soundbites from recent political events including Brexit and Trumps hate speech.
Pupils afterwards broke into to small groups to discuss with Reading students their questions ranging from how do you develop a routine at university with so much more independent work time? to how do you survive financially and how does student loans work to what do you put in a portfolio? This was set against the rich backdrop of looking at the Reading students work including that of BA Art graduating student Lauren Hevey and BA Art second going-into third Year Lennox Bruwer.
After thinking about what a first year course might look like, module structures and what kinds of teaching and learning forms (ie. seminars, lectures, crits, 1 to 1 tutorials etc) universities use, we walked across the beautiful green of the campus and over the lake for lunch.
In the afternoon the Morpeth students took part in a workshop with 2015 graduate Kassie Headon, part of the PurpleStars team, who is currently studying MA in virtual reality at UWE. In small groups they explored 360 art on their devices including Sea prayer and began exploring the potential of 360 go pro cameras, how they pick up the space round them and the manipulations that happen when viewed in ‘flat’. Finally the day ended with a tour of FTT in including a taster of their green screen room.