Risedale art students get glimpse of their potential futures at Tyneside galleries

GCSE art students from Risedale College have visited the BALTIC and Biscuit Factory galleries in Gateshead and Newcastle.

For some of the Year 10 students this was their first visit to the city and for many of them, the first time they had actually been to an art gallery.

In the morning the group visited The Biscuit Factory housed in a former Victorian warehouse and is the UK’s largest independent art, craft & design gallery set in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter.

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Jaime Westwood, head of art at Risedale, said: “It was great to see our students engaging with contemporary art.

“The Biscuit Factory is a fantastic place to see accessible artwork with over 200 artists exhibiting their work at any given time. The fact that you can buy most of the artwork was a real eye-opener for the students, especially when they saw the price tags.”

In the afternoon the group crossed over the River Tyne to visit the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the UK’s largest dedicated contemporary art institution.

One of the exhibits that the students found most interesting was Disappearance at Sea – Mare Nostrum: a group exhibition drawing attention to the journey undertaken by migrants and refugees to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

In particular a virtual reality installation had the group most intrigued and once one person had tried on the goggles and headset they all wanted to have a turn.

Student Sushana Thapa Magar said: “It was a really thought-provoking piece of work and very interesting to experience what is was like for the migrants on their journey.”

Jaime Westwood added: “This is the first stage of their GCSE project ‘beaches’ and I’m really looking forward to seeing how our cultural visit to Newcastle inspires their ideas over the next few months.”