First Artbox trip to the V&A

Take 7 artists, 9 volunteers, and add in 2 long bus journeys, and some very large packed lunches and what do you get? – an amazing morning at the V & A....


Artbox artists were taken on a fantastic tour of the Europe Galleries by V & A Volunteer Guide, Elizabeth Hamilton. From the outset everyone was fascinated by the beautiful objects they were shown. Joel, who makes incredibly detailed architectural models of rooms, was particularly interested in the oak medal cabinet that was shaped like an Egyptian temple pylon and had a secret lock that was hidden in the eye of one of the decorative silver cobras, that adorned the front of the box. If you push the eye in, the lock falls away to reveal a keyhole! I can’t wait to see how Joel is going to incorporate this into his own work.

Pelin, who likes colour and pretty things loved the Sevres tea set. It was so delicate and we agreed that you would have to be very careful using it. Shruti was interested by the large porcelain King Vulture as she likes painting animals and was also very taken by the glass harpsichord which was decorated with coloured glass rods, and sequins.  Hisba admired the Dutch blue and white tulip vase and particularly appreciated its geometric shape so we can expect to see some exciting new shapes in her work.

We next visited a gallery that was all about the historic Venetian Carnival, which was when Venetians and foreign visitors disguised themselves with masks, cloaks and elaborate costumes and took part in a Masquerade Ball. Gary, Richard and Chantel couldn’t wait to become involved with the interactive display. Each artist was able to experience the carnival by mimicking the harlequin’s moves. This involved bowing to your dance partner or curtseying.


After thanking Elizabeth for showing us so many beautiful and interesting objects we went downstairs to eat our lunch and consume the two very large Easter Eggs that Hisba had so kindly brought along. The eggs may have survived Easter but they did not survive lunch!

This blogpost was written by Charlotte, our Friday morning volunteer.

Special thanks to the staff at the V&A, who kindly showed our group around the galleries.