Liverpool Art Trip – The Walker and The Tate

Last Thursday, the Sixth-Form Art students visited two galleries in Liverpool: The Walker, a gallery that has been displaying its fine art collection for over 130 years, and the Tate Liverpool, situated in the old dock warehouses of Liverpool.

The Walker gallery gave a sense of permanence as we approached through its grand entrance, up the stairs and below the vast Corinthian columns, worn but sturdy, biting their firm jaw as if to hold its precious contents close. The Walker is a building firmly rooted in Liverpool, its place in the city clearly evident in its stature and atmosphere.

The featured exhibition there was that of Walter Sickert (1860-1942), featuring around 100 paintings and 200 drawings from a man who sought to reflect the rapidly changing modern world as it was, often changing his style throughout his life, bringing his art into new and unexpected directions. Sickert’s work often gave focus to detail in shadow, manipulating the viewers gaze, drawing them into the paintings themselves and attempting to reveal society from isolated events. Often capturing the subject in a raw manner, his work provides an interesting timeline for the moods of Britain (and indeed Europe) throughout his life, through eras of peace, and war.

The Permanent collection in the Walker, too, was stunning. The large collection of Victorian works highlighted some of the best art of the time from around Britain, and local to Liverpool too. The fine oil paintings (my favourites being those depicting figures in low candlelight, and grand depictions of classical structures) were accompanied by a sculpture and statue collection which was a fine example of using a permanent, cold, solid, seemingly unmoving material, to depict life, growth, and warmth.

Our next destination was the Tate Liverpool, via a short bus journey, which in itself provoked intrigue: we travelled through the centre of Liverpool, and saw a new city that was starting to emerge, the old brutalist overpass, torn down, its off-ramps a stump of a tree, lacking life, surrounded by new glass monoliths, kinetic structures interrupting the seemingly rigid skyline, the Liver Building a parent to the next surge in development, its bird seeming to govern and observe as the city bobs firmly, in a sea of change. The Tate itself was located in the old dock warehouses, balanced, jutting out into the river Mersey, giving the feeling of the new, the renovated, the not yet permanent, a stark contrast to the Walker.

The exhibitions that were a part of the Tate’s existing collection gave us titles investigating democracy, and what democracy meant to their artists, and also the exhibition “Whose Tradition?”, which saw works by Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brancusi who drew inspiration from artwork across Central and West Africa, as well as the Pacific Islands. There were also artworks that questioned western ideals of art and identity, for instance those by Pacita Abad, who rejected her American art education and looked to her Filipino heritage to develop her style.

The featured exhibitions were those of Lucian Freud and Lucy McKenzie. Lucian Freud was a British painter, widely celebrated for his portraits, and a man who often chose those who were closest to him to be the subjects; his portraits certainly gave a personal record of the time spent with these people and indeed his own life. He had an incredible talent for capturing the mood and emotion of his sitters.

Lucy McKenzie (born 1977), is an artist who uses a diverse set of techniques and themes in her art, her incredibly detailed paintings and large scale work demonstrate themes that have interested her throughout her career such as the iconography of international sport, the representation of women, gender politics, music subcultures, and post war muralism.

Overall, we all really enjoyed the trip, and the opportunity to see, study, and discuss amazing pieces of art, with the help of Miss Tonks and Mrs Rowe – thank you!


Theo 6.1

What can you do in Shrewsbury?

As the severity of COVID-19 subsided in the county of Shropshire, we are finally allowed to take weekly trips to the nearby town of Shrewsbury for the first time ever this year. Starting from 28th April every Wednesday, there would be coaches near the Main Hall at 1:15 which can bring over 100 students to town at the same time. Since more of you will have the opportunity to take more and more trips to town, I believe now would be the prime time for me to introduce the things you could do when you get to Shrewsbury. When you get to Shrewsbury, you can…

1: Buy some stuff

I’m sure most of you would agree that the ability to purchase various things from Shrewsbury is one of the biggest reasons why the resuming of town trips is so highly anticipated. However, as most of you may only have been to town for a couple times, you may not be familiar with most of the places where Concord students would go in town in previous years. In this case, I would like to answer the question here: “You can buy some stuff. But from where?”

One of the hot spots you can go to is Darwin Shopping Centre. There are quite a lot of stores there which sell a variety of goods that you might be interested in. Looking to buy some drinks and snacks for a low price? You can go to Poundland or Home Bargains. Planning on getting a new outfit to look nicer for the summer term? There’s a Primark and H&M waiting for you. You can even go to Marks & Spencers in the mall that acts as both a supermarket and clothing store… If you are trying to do both of these activities in one go!

There are some other places where you can go shopping in Shrewsbury, such as the ASDA supermarket, Market Hall and Parade shopping centre. One of the shops I recommend going to is Setonaikai, a store located in Parade. The shop sells a variety of Japanese food, ingredients, and condiments that you would most likely not be able to find elsewhere in the town!

2: Get a haircut

Did any of you miss out on the hairdresser in mid-April and are now stuck with reeaaally long hair, or alternatively want a new, flashier haircut that fits you better? Then rejoice! You can go to town and get yourself a haircut now! There are loads and loads of barber shops around town like Seven Salon and Hinces, where you can visit when you get the chance. Now that town trips are open again for the first time, maybe you can get the chance to visit one of the barbers for the next Wednesday!

3: Go for a walk

Shrewsbury is a beautiful town with lots of places to sightsee and visit, so why don’t you go for a walk around town when you have the time? There are a lot of structures in Shrewsbury like Shrewsbury Abbey, Saint Alkmunds Church and the Darwin Gate that are quite pretty to look at when you go around the town. There’s also a park in Shrewsbury called the Quarry, where you can reach when you go straight up the alleyway next to the Hong Kong City restaurant. As you walk around the park, you can feel the chill atmosphere of the green grass fields along the walkway. The path also extends to the area of the park that borders the River Severn, the river that nearly surrounds the Shrewsbury town centre, making the park one of the best places to sit down, relax and appreciate the scenery of the town.

4: Order takeaway

Right now, even though it is safe for us to go to town again, many of the COVID-19 restrictions are still in place for a lot of the restaurants there, so expect very few restaurants to offer dine-in services for anyone in town (sorry for you, foodies!). However, if you’re really intent on trying the wonderful food of Shrewsbury for yourself (like me!), you can order takeaway from some of the restaurants and collect them near the end of your town trip for you to enjoy back in Concord. Some of the restaurants, like Ask Italian or Dough & Oil, can offer takeaway services for any of you that want a tastier Wednesday supper. If you’d rather feel like eating fast food, there is a KFC and Subway for you as well. Personally, I would normally buy a toastie from Say Cheese for around 4 pounds most of the time I go to town. However, due to the pandemic, the shop has temporarily closed for now. At the time when COVID-19 no longer becomes a problem for us, we can finally dine-in at some of the loveliest restaurants in Shrewsbury, or maybe even try out the toasties I mentioned earlier (Trust me, they’re good)! At the end, there’s one more thing you can put in your bucket list on what to do after the pandemic.

Right here are some of the things you can do when you have the opportunity to go to Shrewsbury. The weekly town trips were once a staple of Concord life and I’m glad this tradition has finally returned at the end of this year. I hope this post could be helpful for any one of you new 6.1 students who are considering a trip to town soon. For those of you who are, stay safe, wear a mask, and last but not least, have fun!

Sacheel – 6.1

Journal Extracts from Kenya

Every day of their stay in Kenya, Concord’s students wrote of their personal feelings and experiences in a journal. At the end of the venture, students also gave a reflective summary of their feelings about the trip.

A number of short extracts from the journal have been shared below:

Charlene: ‘It really hit me how much a priceless treasure affordable healthcare is.  I was supposed to be helping the community in Kenya, but I guess it’s really true that serving others serves us too. Albert Schweitzer once said, “The only really happy people are those who have learnt how to serve.” I can only describe my experience in Kenya as a joy. The more I travel and the longer I get to stay in cultures not my own, the more I am reminded of our shared humanity, humour and tenderness as people. The children’s energy and enthusiasm feel particularly universal, with the atmosphere at the local schools sounding like that of a school anywhere else – full of laughter, little feet pattering in the hallways, and the sounds of children questioning, learning and growing.’

Aiko: ‘Making friends with the street kids was a life changing experience. I am known to be more reserved and not very outgoing. I don’t really fancy speaking to people I do not know very well. So when I first met the street kids I was really hesitant. I didn’t know how to start a conversation. A different culture, different language; this was extremely daunting, challenging and totally out of my comfort zone. However, picking up the courage really led to friendships that I will have for a lifetime. Over the week, they slowly opened up and I got to know them better. It is really disheartening witnessing what young kids go through, but Moving Mountains are really helping to change many lives.’

Charmaine: ‘The kids at the Rescue Centre made me realise that I have so much to be thankful for and I am really humbled by how they find joy in the simplest things in life.’

Ethan: ‘I have learnt to be appreciative of what I have. Most of these kids have very little and yet live their lives to the fullest, while I have been expecting things to just come my way. I find that no words can describe ‘appreciative’.’

‘Teaching these kids made me feel like I was flying.’

‘Step away from Tech: sometimes it’s just better to see things with your eyes than through a tiny phone.’

Arman: ‘This trip has taught me that there is more to life than money, where you live, what you wear, how many likes or followers you have on social media. I didn’t log in to my social media for the whole trip and I felt more alive and happy and had a great time.’

To read more about the Kenya trip and view the photo gallery, click here.

Half Term in Germany and Belgium

From the 27th October to 1st November 2018, a group of 24 students from both the Lower and Upper School, accompanied by Mrs Archer, Ms Salimi and Mr Wilson, went on a trip to the Rhine Valley in Germany, as well as Ypres and Bruges, in Belgium.

During our first 4 days in Germany, we visited some of Germany’s historical sites that were rich in culture, such as the Cochem Castle and Marksburg Castle, followed by an enchanting cruise down the River Rhine and the River Mosel. The beautiful scenes enthralled us with picturesque and captivating landscapes. We also had a wine tasting experience in a vineyard (well, grape juice for the younger students), a cable car ride to the Niederwald Monument, and a tour of the Cologne Chocolate Museum.

On Day 5, we left to visit Bruges, Belgium – a mecca for chocolate lovers. Students had plenty of free time to explore Bruges city, and indulge in appetising, local food. At night, we attended the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. As this was drawing close to the 100th Remembrance Day, we appreciated the opportunity to witness such a special occasion, honouring those who sacrificed their lives for their beloved country. Our last stop before heading back to school was a visit to some of the World War 1 battlefield sites. This was a very eye-opening experience and we were immersed and captivated by a number of stories behind those brave soldiers.

All in all, it certainly was an amazing, insightful and unforgettable trip. Not only did we make lots of new friends, we also had the opportunity to engage with the fellow people there and to explore these two beautiful countries.

Laura – 6.1