Student News

United Kingdom #9: Drawing & Sculpting

Paulina Baltazar – June 20, 2018

Natasha Leong ’21 describes a day at Central Saint Martins experimenting with “a range of different mediums” including drawing, clay, plaster and bright blue alginate, followed by an afternoon of “student choice” exploring the National Gallery and enjoying some delicious Vietnamese food.

Us girls have a rough time trying to wake up in the morning after lazily snoozing our alarms every thirty seconds. After we all finally roll out of bed, we start the day with bleary eyes, and a hearty breakfast at the Crescent Cafe.

Maddie and Max are our mentors for the morning and decide to lead us through an activity of ‘Exquisite Corpse’. They hand us each a sheet of paper, which are all folded in fourths. Our task is to draw a face, a torso, legs, and feet in one segment. After completing any quarter of the project within the five minutes we’re given, we immediately hand them to the person to our left. We end up a little short on time, packing up our things and hurrying to the tube in record time. It’s only until we’re all safely underground when we’re allowed to take a peek at our quirky, mismatched characters. There are fourteen of them and they’re all strangely unique (and somewhat disturbing). They range from three headed monsters, to creatures with thighs the size of the planet, to one with an “eighth thousandth pack”, as Maddie describes it, with confirmation from Anna. “It was jacked,” Anna noted.

We’re welcomed back to Central Saint Martins by our teachers, Rochelle and Mark. They set up a projector and give us a slideshow on drawings turned into sculptures. We then get to use a range of different mediums for contour drawings using only one line. Our subject is the person seated in front of us, and we all set off to awkwardly maintaining eye contact with each other, trying not to draw them too horribly (because if our drawings are too ugly, there’s a chance that they might be offended).


Finally, after feeling like eating all the furniture in the room to satiate my growling stomach, we get let out for lunch break. All ten of us won’t make the same mistake as yesterday, as we immediately speed walk all the way to Sainsburys. We each successfully buy lunch under ten pounds, and have a peaceful meal in the Central Saint Martins canteen.

We move into another room for our afternoon class, getting the chance to use clay, plaster and bright blue alginate. Anna makes a mold of her hand using plaster, struggling to keep it all from flooding out of the holes in her clay structure. Cynthia joins in on the chaos as her own clay walls fail to stay intact. Even though we struggled plenty, at the end of the day, according to Cynthia, “it was a real pain… but worth it.” Lucy manages to create two skulls, both of which look like they’ve been excavated from a tomb, like ancient artifacts. And I attempt to sand-down my plaster donut.


This afternoon is our first day of ‘student choice’. Before splitting up into two small groups, we take a trip to the National Museum, finding artwork from none other than Monet, Van Gogh, and Rousseau. Maddie and Henry stay in the museum with Mason for a little longer, and visit the Thomas cole exhibit and end the day with Ramen at a japanese restaurant. I end up going with the other eight students, Gabi and Ms Taylor on the yellow line of the Hop-On Hop-Off bus. We get to explore the streets of London on the iconic red double-decker bus. We only actually hop off once at the London Eye. However, the line turns out to be 45-minutes long, and we don’t have enough patience to wait. We hop back on to the yellow line, searching for a good restaurant to eat dinner.

It’s around 8pm when we arrive at an amazing vietnamese restaurant. We share some photos of the art in the National Museum with Ms Taylor, and talk about some of our favourite paintings like ‘Two Crabs’ and ‘A Wheatfield, with Cypresses’ by Van Gogh. Everyone orders a bowl of delicious pho, and we get a side of prawn crackers. I scrape my side of coriander to the corner, and Max devours his.

Lucy takes charge and helps us navigate through the underground (aka an actual labyrinth). After a bit of ‘help’ from Jack and many confusing signs, we get back to the Hurdwick to find Ms Bicknell, Mason, and Mad waiting to welcome us back home.

Quotes for the day:
“Leaking volcano. Cool hands.” -Anna
“The evolution of Anna getting larger and scarier.” -Mad
“We tried a lot of mediums today.” -Maddie
“It was motivational.” -Cynthia (“Boring!”- Anna) “Enchanting within molds.” -Cynthia & Anna
“There’s chocolate everywhere.” -Susan
“It was pho-nomenal.” -Lucy