The Whitworth re-opened its doors in February and has recently won the Stirling prize as “Museum of the Year”. We are lucky enough to have this wonderful resource just a walk away.

The A2 Art, Craft and Design students were treated to a personal lecture on the artist John Piper. The education/learning centre displayed three works that were from the extensive archive held at the gallery.

Helen Stalker, the Fine Art curator, had chosen three key works that showed the students different techniques, but all had the theme of buildings. Piper was a war artist and recorded the damage and devastation caused by bombs. The curator explained how Piper had also been a set designer and how this had influenced his work. She talked about the techniques and materials. The students were transfixed by the surroundings, as the sun shone and the gallery opened up into the park.

I am sure that they will now be regular visitors and two students even asked how to become volunteers.

Zakia Ahmed, the ambassador for Art, Craft and Design, has written about her experience.

‘This year the art and design classes are focusing on architectural landscapes for their first unit. In October, the A2 classes visited the Whitworth Art gallery, which has just been awarded the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015. We were delighted to attend a private session where we viewed particular examples of John Piper’s work as well as participating in discussions. As we were the first college to use their resources for private viewings, it was great to see the artwork up close as well as having the opportunity to discuss the themes during the era the paintings were created. Each piece had its own unique meaning and message, therefore it was very interesting to understand how John Piper was feeling when he created his work.

After having gathered a range of information and photos from the discussion, we were able to view the remaining part of the gallery. They currently have numerous exhibitions, including Richards Forster’s collection, which is mind blowing as he creates realistic drawings from photographs. It was a great experience as we were able to understand the artists’ work further as well as gain inspiration for our unit.’