A three day trip that was so eventful passed by so fast. We left school at around 7pm on the 11th of February, a Tuesday. Of course all the music kids had their instruments that we had to haul into the back of the van. The group was amazing, everyone was so kind and of course the teacher chaperones were always there to help us out. As we took off, all the DP1 students pulled out our work and started doing homework at 2AM. The teachers were very impressed with us. We were on our way to Mumbai, the American School of Bombay (ASB).
We went through immigration, got our luggage and arrived at school at around 4AM. We had a nap on gym mattresses (yes, it was VERY comfortable…), and woke up to a fantastic breakfast at a restaurant across the road from ASB. We had pancakes, omelettes, smoothies and of course coffee. After this breakfast, we were off to the mall! We went off in different groups and explored around the mall, until we all met up at the bowling alley and bowled for around 3 hours. It was so fun and it created bonds between people in other grades that I will never forget. Once we finished bowling, we of course all ran to Starbucks and got ourselves drinks before we were on the way back to school. Once we arrived at school, we were all sent off to our host houses. I was hosting with Alex, who is also a DP1 student. We were very eager to find out who our hosts were, until we learnt that they only lived 3 minutes away! We quickly got our bags and were escorted by an ASB security guard to the apartment complex that they lived in. It was amazing, their flat was very nice and the family was so kind to us. They had two kids in 6th and 9th grade, and had the cutest cat and dog. Alex and I knew we were going to spend an amazing three days with this family 🙂
DAY 1 – Thursday 13th of February
We got to school at around 8:15AM, where we split up into the four media groups. We had already chosen which groups we wanted to join; the choices were painting, mixed media, paper art and photography. I had chosen painting as this is the media that I have been wanting to discover more deeply, I was the only OSC student in this group. Once we were split off, we got to know the others in our groups, and off we went to visit museums around Mumbai. Personally, this was the most memorable part of the trip, since I was able to get to know a lot of new people, discover the beauty of art that is present in Mumbai and get a lot of inspiration for the artwork. We visited 6 museums, which were all led by local artists, which I found so fascinating because the artworks had so much meaning behind them and I hadn’t visited an art museum in a while so I was able to really appreciate the art and my surroundings. I learnt a lot about the culture within India; especially in terms of their art as I was exposed to different artists who create different artworks. We stopped in the middle of the day for a quick lunch break, where we all sat down and joined the paper arts group. After lunch we finished visiting the rest of the museums and made our way back to school. Our host picked us up and off we went for a spaghetti and meatballs dinner with our host family ! 🙂
DAY 2 – Friday 14th of February
On the second day, we arrived at school and directly split up into our workshops. The painting workshop was situated on the fifth floor, at the sky room. The classroom was an amazing workspace, and we were introduced to our workshop heads. Ryas Komu was our workshop leader, and spoke to us a bit about his art. His artworks, spanning several different media and genres, are particularly noted for their strong political overtones. His paintings, to put it in his own words, carry a protest symbol one way or the other. He has remarked, “I strongly feel it is my duty to be political. I believe that my paintings should look back at the viewer rather than just tell a story or hang on the wall.” We then started brainstorming and went straight into starting our artworks.
The next few days was time for all of us as individuals to explore new forms of art that we had chosen to create. It was an opportunity to collaborate with people outside of our communities; meaning from other schools, with other students and teachers. It was also helpful to have a different surrounding, to find new inspiration within a new environment.
Not only was this an opportunity to extend my cultural approaches to art and explore my creativity, it was also a time to act as a peer and student from OSC. We remained disciplined and responsible, especially as the older students who would ensure that the younger students were accompanied. We also all made closer friendships and learnt how to collaborate outside of our OSC community.