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Posted 04.04.19

Sketching Picasso & exploring Gaudi: Pre-degree students head to Barcelona

By Sarah Packer

Students on our Extended Diploma courses recently returned from a “fun and educational” trip to Barcelona, the art lovers mecca!

From visits to iconic sites like Sagrada Familia and Park Güell to sketching works by Picasso and roller skating around the city, we caught up with pre-degree students Lowenna and Nina to hear about their whirlwind trip to Barcelona.  

Hi Lowenna and Nina, can you tell us some highlights from the trip?

Lowenna: There were so many! I liked the walks around the city (we got lost once but it was very funny!). We saw beautiful views of the city from up high in the park, it was nice to admire the city away from the hustle and bustle. I also loved seeing the architecture by Gaudi, it was so impressive and seemed like it had just popped out of someone’s doodle drawings! I think I could see myself living in Barcelona, I’d definitely be interested in looking into study there.

"Throughout the trip, I wanted to use my sketchbook to document my experiences."

Nina: The walk was fun, but for me, the most interesting was the Human Bodies exhibition. It was disturbing and fascinating all at the same time and has left me really inspired for my final major project. I would definitely say the trip has inspired me to travel more and helped me develop an interest in exploring different cultures.

Nina and Lowenna skating through the streets of Barcelona.

You visited the Picasso Museum, what was that like?

L: I found the trip to be a very experimental period, I found myself going a bit more outside my comfort zone. We did some observational drawings at the exhibition so I looked at replicating Picasso’s use of varying shapes. His work is lauded as revolutionary, but I was not aware of the scale he worked at, so it was great to see it up close.

N: During the Picasso Museum walk-through, I took notice of the bold use of pattern and colour. Throughout the trip, I wanted to use my sketchbook to document my experiences. I find it is a more valuable form of documentation than that of photographs. When I look back on sketchbook images, I can remember the experience in more detail - I remember my thought processes, where I looked at the work in more detail.

The Human Bodies exhibition, an intimate and educational journey through what the skin hides to show, as never before, the operation of your own body.

It sounds like you managed to do a lot in the time you were there.

L: Yeah, the planning of the trip was excellent and it was great that we were able to explore the city without restraint. It wasn’t restricting, but fun and educational.

N: I really liked how we were involved in the decision-making process. It was much easier that way and it meant everyone got a lot out of the trip.

So would you say visiting Barcelona was useful for your studies?

L: Definitely, I am using a list of first-hand research I gathered whilst I was there. For me, the benefit of the trip has been that I’ve been able to do more active research.

N: I am looking at a fashion-based topic, irrational fears/fear of bodies, and the Human Bodies exhibition has definitely inspired my project.


Photos by Tobie Loates and Jack Bishop.

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