Report by Caitlin Faux - Year 10
On Tuesday 21st October, the Year 10 Art students went on a particularly windy art trip to the Geevor mines – the building grounds of Cornwall.
The first incentive of this trip was so students could practice and improve their quick drawing skills, having been given a set time to do a quick sketch of machinery or landscape, but with going into the mines and gold panning the trip was full of even more excitement.
Beginning the tour, we looked at the artwork of Susan Booth who we later met. She uses the techniques of quick sketches and splatterings of paint, creating amazing images that stick in the mind. Then we moved onto machinery. Clutching our sketchbooks to our chests, we moved outside to some of the big, warehouse looking, buildings. Inside there were big beasts of machines, with cogs the size of cars, and there were tiny rusted ones with all sorts of levers and buttons. It was very tempting to press every one of them. Chains of many different sizes dangled from all corners, attaching themselves to hooks and machines. Standing in one of the rooms, I could almost see the machines whirring to life, dials flickering and steam erupting from pipes as they cluttered and squeaked to their hearts delight.
The 'dry room' was a locker room where the miners kept all their stuff. It was explained to us that they would arrive in the morning and put on some horrible clothes to go down into the mines with. The clothes would get so damp and dirty underground that when they came back up, the miners would lay them out on the hot steam pipes for the next day, when they would have to beat all the mud off their now dry clothes. We were then given some time to use chalk or charcoal to sketch out a locker or two. Upon finishing we lay them all out on the ground and inspected each other’s work.
My personal favourite part of the trip came next. We put down our pencils and did some gold panning, shaking out tray of sand in water to see if we could find gems or fool’s gold. Admittedly, the water was incredibly smelly. Let it be known that we all felt the need to sanitize our hands after that.
For the last part of our trip, we headed down underground and at some point I got over my claustrophobia. When we escaped the dank dark tunnels, half of us were pale faced and relieved to be out and the other half had mud put on their faces like war paint.
Finally we trudged up a steep hill, put our ridiculous helmets back, collected our bags and piled onto the coach, slumping back into our seats after a fun, but tiring trip.