London Visit 2017

On Saturday 18 November, more than 1,000 Saturday Club Members from across the UK came together at Central Saint Martins for the London Visit, the first national event of the Club year. It was a brilliant day, when Members had the chance to meet their fellow Clubs and be inspired by each other’s work.

Members from Art&Design, Fashion&Business and Science&Engineering Clubs were given a warm welcome by National Saturday Club Trustees Dr Caroline Hargrove, Technical Director of McLaren Applied Technologies, and Cecilia Weckström, Global Head of Environmental Responsibility and Engagement at LEGO, who introduced the exhibition of self-portraits Members had created.

Dr Caroline Hargrove, Technical Director, McLaren Applied Technologies
Cecilia Weckström, Global Head of Environmental Responsibility and Engagement, LEGO

Clubs also took part in a workshop led by Nichol Keene and Luke Watson from University of the Arts London and UAL students. Titled ‘Transient City’, the activity challenged Club Members to create buildings from tracing paper in just 15 minutes. The final results were brought together to form an installation (below).

From Central Saint Martins, the Clubs left for bespoke tours of museums and galleries across the city.

Club Members beat the clock to create ‘Transient City’
University of the Arts London – East Art&Design Saturday Club add their contribution
Club Members find time for a laugh
Club Members from Cardiff Metropolitan University add their buildings to 'Transient City'

On the Road

From Llanelli to Hartlepool, Truro to Great Yarmouth, more than 45 Clubs took part in the London Visit, many braving early starts and late nights returning home. In total, Members clocked up 96,688 miles – the equivalent of four times round the earth!

Many thanks to all the colleges, universities, museums and other organisations for coordinating everyone’s travel to London.

Club Members from Coleg Sir Gâr, Grimsby Institute and Banbury and Bicester College on their way to the city

Club Members from Grimsby Institute ready for bed after a long day

Self-portraits exhibition

All Members started their Club year with a self-portrait project. The variety and quality of the work was truly outstanding this year. Art&Design Clubs used diverse techniques, including printmaking, paper-cutting, 3D scanning and oil painting. Fashion&Business Clubs created ‘consumer selfie boards’ and used fabric and needlework, while microscopy and 3D printing were some of the methods Science&Engineering Clubs chose to create representations of themselves.

Cardiff Metropolitan University Science&Engineering Saturday Club
University of Wolverhampton Art&Design Saturday Club

Top left: Cardiff Metropolitan University Science&Engineering Saturday Club Top centre: University of Wolverhampton Art&Design Saturday Club Top right: Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton Art&Design Saturday Club Bottom left: Ravensbourne Fashion&Business Saturday Club Bottom centre: Goldsmiths, University of London Art&Design Saturday Club Bottom right: UAL – North Art&Design Saturday Club

Exploring the capital

Clubs visited prominent galleries and museums throughout the city, and had the opportunity to see exhibitions such as:

‘Basquiat: Boom for Real’ at the Barbican
Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces at The Courtauld Gallery
‘Beazley Designs of the Year’ at the Design Museum
‘Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth’ at the Royal Academy of Arts
‘Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism’ at the Saatchi Gallery
‘North: Fashioning Identity’ at Somerset House
‘Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’ at Tate Modern
‘Opera: Passion, Power and Politics’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum
‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum
‘Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?’ at the Wellcome Collection
‘Thomas Ruff: Photographs 1979–2017’ at the Whitechapel Gallery

Q-Art led tours of Tate Modern and Tate Britain’s permanent collections, giving Club Members an insight into how to read and interpret art.

Special thanks to

University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins, Nichol Keene and Jess King for hosting the London Visit, and organising such an inspiring activity, ‘Transient City’, which was so well received by Club Members and tutors.

All the galleries and museums who host Club Members and continue to support the National Saturday Club’s London Visit, particularly the BarbicanThe Courtauld GalleryDesign MuseumRoyal Academy of ArtsSaatchi GallerySomerset HouseTate ModernTate BritainVictoria and Albert Museum and Whitechapel Gallery.

Q-Art who gave eleven insightful tours of the permanent collections at Tate.

CASS Art for their ongoing support of the National Saturday Club and the goodie bags and sketchbooks given to every Club Member.

Derwent for donating pencils for the goodie bags.

British Fashion Council for the London Fashion Week bags given to Fashion&Business Club Members.

Until next year...

The 2017 London Visit was the best yet, and the National Saturday Club looks forward to welcoming everyone to the capital again for the Summer Show in 2018.

Until then, we wish everyone a very happy new year.

Photos: Magnus Andersson, Jo Mieszkowski, Kit Oates, Hanina Pinnick
Film: Up Close Films