Joshua Peters has been working with the Museum as part of his work experience..

The great Leonardo Da Vinci once said Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master”. Well, when your mentor is regarded as one of the most influential and innovative English artists ever to have lived, one might be somewhat forgiven for not attaining quite the standard and beauty to which they painted. Constable’s young apprentice David Charles Read would have known this more than anyone. As one stands in front of “Salisbury Cathedral from the meadows” in one of the Constable Exhibition Rooms, it’s difficult not to experience an emotional evocation; the dark, tempestuous cumulonimbus clouds constraining and pressurising the space on the canvas, enhanced by Constable’s choice of an opaque, atramentous shade of black instantly induces a feeling of despondency and anguish within the mind of viewer.

The ability for colour, texture and shadow to ..  play on .. human emotion, is one power that painting possesses that both inspired me to seek work experience here at Salisbury Museum in the Constable exhibition and to study the history of art as a Pre-U subject at school and hopefully at University. To look at an object or painting and feel the purest form of emotional sensation I find truly beautiful. Our primal senses are ignited.

As of writing, I’m in my final year, “B Block”, at Eton College, studying the History of Art, Italian and Geography for my Pre Us (Cambridge A level Equivalent) which I’ll be undertaking come July 2017, which will be fun. I’m sure. My interests in art are multifarious and often quite antipodal; from Italian Futurism to 1920’s Soviet Constructivism to Avant Garde film and many things in between. It is a subject whose variety interests me greatly. I think this is one of the reasons why I’ve loved engaging in work experience at the Salisbury Museum so much. Every exhibition is brilliantly organised, and one thing that has stood out to me is the fact that for many, if not all, working here and aiding in public engagement is not just a job, it is a passion. I have loved being surrounded by people who actually have a genuine interest and desire to share with people the richness and value of cultural heritage-Nicola and Joyce do a fantastic job and it’s been a pleasure to work with you and thank you both for helping me. Without you, not only would I have been confused as to how the system operates around the museum and my various duties, but also would have been forever lost in the many identical hallways I attempted to take on my way to the staff room. Thank you.

I found it greatly rewarding to be able to talk to members of the public and engage with them about the paintings and drawings on show, as well as gaining first hand experience for museum life and contributing to future exhibitions. It’s been eye opening. Perhaps the most interesting thing I’ve noticed is the way in which children, despite their age, are able to, like adults, sense and determine the mood and tone of a painting just through colour. It goes to show that colour and visual stimulus is a language in its own right. Thank you also to Bridget for the opportunity, I wish you all the best.

Joshua Peters

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