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Return of the cultural tourists



Infused with the best of European and American art, design, architecture and fashion after visiting Copenhagen, Paris and New York in July, Years 10 and 11 cultural tourists are back to their more everyday lives. The students of design and technology, visual arts, photography, or textiles and design, have deepened their understanding of art and design beyond Australia.


“First-hand experience makes such a difference to our understanding of artists’ and designers’ works and why they’re influential,” said Katie Waud, Director of Creative Arts, just returned from Wenona’s cultural arts tour.


“When you visit Denmark’s Louisiana Museum and walk alongside one of Alberto Giacometti’s ‘walking man’ bronzes in a gallery devoted to his sculptures, or recline in the museum’s sculpture garden to appreciate a massive reclining figure by Henry Moore, you get a completely different sense of these works than from a book or even a film.” 


“Some of the artworks we saw, for example the biggest paintings from Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series at the Musee de I’Orangerie (Paris) and exaggerated, avant-garde fashion by Rei Kawakubo shown in ‘Art of the In-Between’ at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) are utterly different from collections, even ‘blockbuster’ travelling exhibitions we get to see in Australia. They’re just not available here. So the tour offers completely new ideas and influences that help students put their practice and critical theory in a world context.”


“Students’ perspectives will be refreshed and inspired by their tour experiences,” Ms Waud said.


Students, chaperoned by five teachers, kicked off the tour by immersing themselves in pared-back, contemporary Danish design in Copenhagen where they also became entangled in a performance of Hamlet at his literary home, the Kronborg Castle in Helsingor. 


In Paris, the Eiffel Tower immediately won the travellers’ hearts with its soaring grace, industrial detail and views of all Paris, followed by viewings of Impressionists’ and many of the world’s most famous masterpieces at the Louvre and La Fondation Louis Vuitton. The students ran a fashion shoot in Paris and revelled in traditional and modern architecture housing the art as well as the exhibits themselves.


In New York students took part in practical workshops with local illustrator, Jason Das, and a tour of street art in Brooklyn.  NYC’s plentiful modern art and eclectic architecture impressed – but the buildings that most affected Wenona’s tourists were those no longer there – at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.


Please see more beautiful images and tour blog here