The ARTiculation event held at the Ashmolean museum saw Year 13 Art students travelling to Oxford to take part in a day dedicated to the discussion of art and its relevance in the modern world. As A Level Art projects are approaching their final stages, the trip was a beneficial learning experience allowing students to develop their public speaking skills and appreciate artworks from across the centuries.

We began the day with a guided tour of the museum, opened in 1683, in which it became apparent that we were being navigated around specific artifacts. These pieces were to be the subjects for our group presentations, delving into the rich history of the artifacts and their relevance to modern interpretations of art. With only two other schools present, we quickly settled into groups of four to five members before being provided with information packs on our given artwork. This was only the start of our research, as we were later introduced to specialists who engaged with the different groups and prompted us to consider questions about our different pieces; this ensured our presentations contained accurate and extensive information. The public speaking event, led predominantly by Tim Revell and Lucy Hares, allowed us to communicate with other art pupils and work collaboratively to produce our final presentations, which were to be reviewed by the course leaders and received by the entire group.

After each group had worked on compiling evidence, talking with the specialists and finalizing our speeches, we were given the opportunity to rehearse and make further amendments before presenting in front of both the curator of the Ashmolean Museum and our peers. When the time came, each group spent ten minutes presenting their artifact, covering topics ranging from the social implications in Paolo di Dono’s The Hunt in the Forest to the materials used in a ceremonial suit for a Samurai. During these talks, no stone was left unturned as every member spoke with confidence about topics they had only just learned, to the extent that even the curator added how she had discovered new things about each of the artifacts!

Thank you to everyone at the Ashmolean Museum and those organizing the ARTiculation event.