Menu

Reading College students go back to the Victorian era in collaboration with the National Trust

Creative Industries students from Activate Learning’s Reading College are working with the National Trust to celebrate Christmas at Basildon Park in Pangbourne.

12 December 2019

Creative Industries students from Activate Learning’s Reading College are working with the National Trust to celebrate Christmas at Basildon Park in Pangbourne. 

Students studying Level 3 art and design and performing and production arts programmes have collaborated to produce a scheme of work inspired by the Victorian era, steampunk and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which will culminate in an exhibition of their work alongside performances. 

The exhibition will showcase how each student has taken inspiration from the three themes to produce their final piece. Artwork on display will include illustrations, photography, graphic communications, textile art and model or set designs. 

On 10 and 11 December, performing arts students presented a series of live performances at Basildon Park. These included readings and excerpts from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol while others sang carols or interacted with the audience.  

Art and design students who specialise in fashion created themed costumes for students to wear during their performances.  

Jasmine Talbot, 17, who is studying the Art and Design Level 3 Extended Diploma at Reading College, created an illustrated programme to be shown as part of the exhibition.

She said: “I wanted it to be child-friendly, because the National Trust’s biggest audience is families with young children. I wanted to make it bright and colourful so that children could understand it from the pictures and then the adults could have the text to read. 

“This is the first time I’ve done a proper programme, so it definitely stretched me on how I can link text and images and make it flow.” 

Caroline Blackburn, visual arts tutor from Activate Learning, said: “This project with the National Trust has allowed the students to gain experience on working with clients, working to deadlines, developing communication skills and working collaboratively as a whole to exhibit to a high professional standard.”    

This project is part of a series of prestige collaboration projects which seek to develop projects between further education colleges and prestige partners such as the National Trust.  

Projects are led by employer-set briefs and curriculum needs in the arts and creative sectors. The projects benefit students with access to organisations, opportunities and locations, and the partners benefit from access to a diversity of visitors or volunteers. 

The exhibition and costumes will be on display at Basildon Park until 6 January, find out more about the Christmas celebrations at Basildon Park 

To find out more about studying art and design or performing and production arts at Activate Learning please contact on 0800 612 6008.