On Wednesday 7 June, A level art and photography students were taken on a trip to Nottingham to visit the Nottingham Contemporary gallery and to take images in an urban landscape.

Upon arrival at the gallery, our students were captivated by the diverse range of exhibitions on display. Each exhibition held a unique narrative, shedding light on pressing issues and inviting discussion.

The first exhibition delved into the harrowing tale of animal cruelty, with a specific focus on the heart-wrenching story of Lenka the giraffe. Through poignant visuals and storytelling, the exhibition unveiled the tragic journey of Lenka, highlighting the mistreatment and exploitation faced by animals. It served as a sobering reminder of the importance of compassion and empathy towards all living beings. This exhibition was centred around storytelling and students were able to join in with its interactive aspects that allowed students to explore the meanings behind the artwork further.

The second exhibition showcased the thought-provoking works of Abbas Zahedi. Collaborating with individuals and locations, Zahedi employs his artistry to help process difficult emotions and histories. In his exhibition titled ‘holding a heart in artifice’ Zahedi ingeniously combines visual and sensory elements, creating a space for dialogue and shared experiences. Drawing inspiration from his medical background, his industrial work is influenced by cardiac stents, resulting in captivating and innovative pieces that challenge viewers to reflect on the complexities of human existence.

The third exhibition, created by Kresiah Mukwazhi, provided a vibrant and impactful experience. Mukwazhi’s artistry encompasses vibrant textile collages, video installations, performances, and thought-provoking installations. Informed by her observations of gender-based violence, exploitation and abuse in her native Zimbabwe, her works shed light on pressing societal issues. Through her powerful visual storytelling, Mukwazhi ignites conversations and encourages viewers to confront and address these challenges.

In addition to exploring the gallery’s exhibitions, our students ventured into the world of urban photography. They were able to capture the essence of the city and its urban landscape. Taking photos of textures, the architecture of the city, and the interplay between art and everyday life.

The trip to Nottingham Contemporary proved to be a great experience for our post 16 students, allowing them to develop their skills and understanding of art. The combination of Kotátková’s exhibition on animal cruelty, Zahedi’s exploration of pressure, and Mukwazhi’s meaningful works provided a well-rounded and thought-provoking experience examining contemporary art.

A big thank you to Miss Williams for organising the trip as well as Mr Bridge and Miss Mckeown for helping throughout the day.

Article by Harriet and Freya, post 16 students