At the end of January, students from all three years of BA(Hons) Fine Art enjoyed a study visit to Berlin, arriving in sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow which resulted in their diversion to land at a different airport than planned.
Highlights of the trip included gallery visits to KW Institute for Contemporary Art, The Hamburger Bahnhof and visits to The Jewish Museum Berlin. Students also enjoyed a night at the legendary Berghain nightclub, described as quite possibly the current world capital of techno, named after its location near the border between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. Visit organiser and first year Course Coordinator Gillian Wylde said, ‘Lots of inspiration is developing out of this exciting study visit, into future art projects’.
Second year students Ella Squirrell and Isaac Aldridge shared their experiences of the trip…
Ella: ‘The first day we spent exploring the city on foot, coming across photographic exhibitions in museum island, and popping into family run cafes to rest our snowy feet. I was very satisfied with the amount of inspiring contemporary painting exhibitions in the city, particularly Tatjana Doll at the Berliniche Gallerie, ‘My Abstract World’ at the ME Collectors Room and Lawrence Carroll: ‘Under The Blue’ at the Buchmann Galerie. These three exhibitions were the most relevant to my current work; however, in a city as artistically enriched as Berlin, I sought out other exhibitions that weren’t as pertinent in their art form. There were many in in Kreuzberg, along Lindenstrasse: commercial galleries with contemporary art, a lot of sculpture, installations and video work.
On the last day, we went to Transmediale, a festival with workshops and seminars, about modern day alienation and technology taking over. These ideas relate to my interest in society coming away from nature, and about being absorbed into a modern society. We also visited culturally historic places, such as war memorials, the Musical Instrument Museum and the Berlin Wall.
I loved the freedom of the trip. Tutors would recommend places, and there were meet up points every day, but everyone very much could build their own timetable, and we shared our experiences over breakfast or as we bumped into each other in the city. The trip was very socially engaging, it allowed the three year groups to integrate naturally, and I got to know people within my course better through shared experience and conversations about the art we had seen’.
Isaac: ‘In my opinion, our study trips are a gateway into exploring your own practise further than the walls of the studio. I have visited Venice and Berlin in the two years I have been studying at Falmouth. This Berlin trip offered an open-ended itinerary, which was perfect for exploring the city’s heritage and culture as well as the art. I managed to visit all areas of Berlin, seeing the Reichstag Building, the Holocaust Museum, Brandenburg Gate and many more historical points of interest. Additionally, in the evenings I was able to explore Berlin’s famous night culture, catching the U-Bahn all over to interesting and edgy bars (and even a Techno super club!).
The art in Berlin was unquestionably admirable in all senses. From the East Side Gallery where artists had painted the remains of the dividing wall, the Hamburger Bahnhof which holds an amazing collection of masterful works including a personal favourite of mine – Cy Twombly, to the Berlinische Gallery of Modern Art with an array of works in all disciplines from painting to sculpture and massive installations, and the Bauhaus Archive which houses all variations of the art types style of work including the building itself (a long with many, many more smaller galleries and exhibitons)!
I found the most enjoyable part of the trip was the freedom to pick and choose where to visit, buddying up and exploring the city ourselves with a meet up point later in the day at an exhibition to discuss with everyone else where they had been and where they were planning to go. Having the opportunity to see these places has fed my own work in terms of seeing more than just the conventional painters I would generally seek to inform my work, and having a wider breadth of information to work from and to reference in my day to day studio life’.
Images courtesy of Jade Bowmer.