We were delighted to host our National Saturday Club masterclass led by Asten Holmes Elliot from the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton. The morning explored the processes and thinking of artist Gerhard Richter.
The session began with an introduction to Richter, one of the 20th and 21st century’s most significant artists, focusing on his methods of layering paint over found photographs to distort, conceal and reveal elements within the original image. The group really engaged with this presentation, as most knew nothing about his work and enjoyed thinking about the possibilities of how a painter might explore a technique to express ideas as well as the obvious visual image.
Asten then gave us a mountain of found images to work with. We were given free reign to use the paint in any way we wished to alter the image. Taking Richter’s lead one club member devised a ‘squeegy’ from a magazine folded in two and used it to drag paint across the picture. Other members worked as a team to devise a collaged narrative, thinking about their intervention as a way of altering the meaning of the original image.
By the end of the morning we had created a whole gallery wall. Students discussed the work they felt was most successful and used this as the basis of their written response to the whole experience, enabling them to complete the first stage of their Arts Award.
A huge thank you to Asten and the John Hansard Gallery for this amazing masterclass.
There will be an exhibition of the work of Gerhard Richter at the John Hansard Gallery from 12th May 2018. We cannot wait!