On a lovely sunny Tuesday afternoon, we all set out and had a good look at the High Street and how it has developed since Turner painted it in 1810. Watch the short film I posted about this on YouTube below.
We split into two groups and walked up each side of the Street, looking at the architecture and how it developed the image of Oxford over the last 206 years. We documented this through photography, and as a group discussed how Turner had manipulated the composition to fit his idea of the High Street and the methods he used, in order to include as much of Oxford’s High Street as possible. While looking at the High Street from what we assumed would have been the area he would have painted it from we could see that in reality the view did not fit, due to the High Street curving as it got further up the road. Also, we noticed we could not see Carfax Tower, even though Turner had painted it in the background of his work.
After this we were lucky enough to be given a tour of Queen’s College, where we were shown around by two second year students who took us around the grounds. We were able to see the library but due to the upcoming exam season we were asked to be very quiet. However, this didn’t stop us from admiring the amazing ceilings and art it had to offer. We were then taken through the courtyard and across to the Common Rooms where the students are able to relax or do work as they please. We were also given the opportunity to visit the dining hall (which had been graced by the presence of celebrities like Rowan Atkinson) and according to our guides “serves some of the best food in Oxford, and at a good price”
This amazing experience gave us the opportunity to view the amazing grounds and find out a small part of the history of the College. These experiences our students will carry through to the next session where they will be looking at creating their own architecture, building models of their new streetscape.