Ways of Seeing Schools Conference

Ways of Seeing is our annual schools event for those teaching or studying art history or art, at AS and A level.

Forthcoming Event

Ways of Seeing 2017
25 November, National Gallery London
10.30 - 15.30

Theme: Art & War

Our annual one-day conference for A level students and teachers will again take place at the National Gallery in London. These popular annual events are for those teaching or studying History of Art or Art & Design, at A level.

The day includes talks, discussions and workshops on ways of and thinking about art in relation to a specific theme, which this year has been chosen specifically to relate directly with the new A level specification.

More information, including a programme and online booking will be made available in June.

Last year's event

Ways of Seeing 2016
Saturday 26 November 2016
National Gallery, London

Theme: Identity


Ways of Seeing is an annual event for those teaching or studying art or art history, at AS and A level. The one-day conference includes talks and discussions on ways of and thinking about art in relation to a specific theme. 

This year's Ways of Seeing will be taking place in partnership with the National Gallery, London. Talks and discussions will take place in the large Sainsbury Wing lecture theatre, and there will be lunchtime workshops for students and a lunchtime forum for teachers. 

Theme for 2016

Our theme for 2016  was ‘Identity’. Speakers talked about identity in relation to specific art works, practices and topics. Identity was explored through notions of nationality, gender, class, ethnicity and place. Speakers explored the theme of ‘Identity’ by drawing upon art historical as well as practice-based ways of seeing and thinking about art.

Programme: Ways of Seeing 2016

10.30 – 10.50 Registration, Sainsbury Wing Lecture Theatre

11.00 Introduction and Welcomes

11.10    Jo Rhymer (National Gallery Education)  will explore notions of identity through class, gender and ethnicity in relation to the painting, Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando, by Edgar Degas.

11.35    Sarah Monks (University of East Anglia) will talk about ideas of national identity through the 'Britishness' of British Art, from Hogarth to Hockney (as well as its dependence upon foreign counterparts).

12.00    Ben Street will draw upon identity in relation to Caravaggio and the cliches associated with his character thanks to film and TV.

12.25 Morning round-up and Speakers Q&As

12.35 Lunch & workshops

14.00 AAH Campaign

Trevor Horsewood (AAH Campaigns Manager), will talk about the 3 year campaign 

14.10 Student Presentations : ARTiculations 
Joanna Littlejohns, Head of ARTiculation, will introduce the student speakers: 

14.30 Matt Lodder (University of Essex) will talk about identity through David Pérez Karmadavis' work 'Identificación' (2007), which uses tattooing, photography and performance to address state violence in Guatemala during the civil war.

15.00 Afternoon round up and Close

After the event teachers and students will have a chance to look around the gallery and exhibitions

This event is in partnership with The National Gallery and is generously supported by The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars


Recognising art history in state schools
*As part of our on-going commitment to encourage better engagement with art history in state schools we are able to offer up to 100 free tickets to state schools teachers and students wanting to attend Ways of Seeing. This is made possible through the generous support of The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars who sponsor this initiative, which is now in its fourth year. These tickets will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

All tickets must be pre-book online in advance. Places are limited. Tickets do not include lunch or refreshments*

Lunch-time workshops are free of charge but must be pre-booked as spaces are limited.

Booking deadline: 30 October 2016.

Booking Cancellation Policy: Bookings can be revised and cancelled up until 1 October 2016. After this date you will be liable to pay the full booking amount. This event is very popular so any spare places will be offered to other institutions. Refunds of up to 50% on conference bookings may be given up to 30 October 2016. Cancellations made after 1 November will be non-refundable, but pre-paid bookings may be transferable to another AAH event depending upon circumstances. Only in exceptional circumstances will delegates qualify for a 75% refund on cancellations made after 30 October 2016.

Information for Delegates

Getting to the Conference
Click here for information on getting to the National Gallery. The closet tube station is Charing Cross.

Registration will take place from 10.30 – 10.50 in the foyer of the Sainsbury Wing lecture Theatre. It’s a small area so attendees will be encouraged to register then find a seat. Names and numbers will be ticked off a list – there are no actual tickets. We have over 300 people to register and seat in the Lecture Theatre so it’s important that you arrive promptly and find your seats quickly. You cannot turn up on the day and pay. Pre-booked delegates only. Refreshments will not be available at registration because of space restrictions, but the National Gallery café will be open from 9am on Saturday.

Refreshments & Lunch
Time will be allocated during lunch break for teachers and students to grab some lunch. Students and teachers can bring their own food, or use the café facilities in the gallery. Water will be available throughout the day.

Talks & Presentations
Selected speakers will talk on various aspects of the selected theme that covers different periods, materials, styles and spaces. The conference will also include series of presentations by students. Talks and presentation will be photographed and recorded for resource purposes.

Lunchtime Workshops

Looking through Drawing
This year’s event will include interactive workshops for students. These will take place in the gallery and will focus around a specific painting. Join an artist and academic for a gallery-based workshop exploring further the theme of identity, in one painting. First listen to a brief talk, then respond through drawing in a short, artist-led drawing session. No experience necessary. This 40 minute workshop is about how drawing can help you look more closely, rather than about producing skilled drawings. All materials will be provided. Pre-booking necessary as spaces are limited.

Teachers Forum
The teacher’s lunch time forum is a half-hour optional discussion session. It's an opportunity for teachers to get together and discuss developments and changes taking place at local or national levels that affect A levels and other courses. It's designed to be informal but informative. (*lunch will be provided for teachers attending the forum). Pre-booking necessary.

Exploring the Gallery
There will be time allocated within or around the programme to allow for teachers and students to look around the gallery and see paintings within the collection.

Widening Participation in art history
The AAH is committed to encouraging wider participation in art history, we are particularly keen on encouraging more awareness and participation of art history in state schools. We therefore offer up to 100 free tickets to teachers and students from state schools who want to attend Ways of Seeing.

 Previous Ways of Seeing Conferences