The High School art trip to Bruges included a visit to the Groeninge Museum to see the permanent collection, especially of early Flemish oil painting, including the world famous work of Jan Van Eyck and Hans Memling, as well as the temporary exhibition ‘Making Connections’ with the contemporary oil paintings of Robert Devriendt.
Students examined how the extraordinary material of oil paint developed in relation to the other arts, crafts and media of the Middle Ages up to the modern era in Belgium as well as how it continues to relate to our own visual experience and contemporary media like film and photography through a continuous discourse that engages the viewer in ways that are deeply relevant both to the past and the present.
The aim of this trip and others was to encourage students to discover and access the rich artistic and cultural resources from around the world which they can encounter in Belgium, and to assist them to develop an understanding of art through direct investigation of primary sources. By engaging them in a critical dialogue about artistic expression in different historical and contemporary contexts, relevant to their own developing research and studio practice, they will be encouraged to develop their own independent trips in future.
By Alan Mitchell, HS Art teacher