Written by Eden Robertson | July 2023
The continuing care and opening of doors to all AHLU students, even beyond completion of the course, is something I've found unique to this organization.Eden Robertson
Read our latest interview with Architecture student and AHLU Alumna, Eden Robertson, who undertook a summer internship at London Art Week as part of the partnership with charity and educational organisation Art History Link-Up. Art History Link-Up provides free accredited courses to state-educated sixth-form students, many of whom come from widening participation backgrounds.
Growing up I was fortunate enough to live in a household which kept art alive in my daily practices and rituals. I had a family who encouraged me to seek the joy that art could bring through conversation, visits to galleries and exhibitions and in my own artistic practices.
Although I had a fruitful education at my secondary School in North London, an education in the arts was a personal one, achieved through my own impetus to visit museums and read art books found in libraries, rather than one held in a formal educational environment.
A school friend of mine had discovered the opportunity to study Art History A-Level with Art History Link-Up and we encouraged each other to sign up- it was felt it wasn't an opportunity to miss! Joining in 2017, we were the second cohort to join Art History Link-Up, attending weekly Saturday lessons at The Wallace Collection taught by Rose Aidin.
My knowledge of art history expanded, my exposure to works of art increased, and my strength in writing and formalizing ideas grew. Arguably most importantly, Art History Link-Up fostered confidence in having a voice in the world of art history and academia.
This can be credited through Rose's structuring of the course and carefully curated lessons, lectures, and one-on-one discussions which nurtured individual critical thinking and interpretation. This skill I have taken onto university to study Architecture and beyond the realm of Education.
The continuing care and opening of doors to all AHLU students, even beyond completion of the course, is something I have found unique to this organization. Around a month ago the opportunity to intern at London Art Week arose, something that wouldn't have been possible without London Art Week's partnership with AHLU. My month interning was a joyous one whilst also an educational in itself; first-hand experience of the inner workings and care put into creating a successful major art event in London.
As I reach my final year as an Architecture undergrad at The Bartlett, I wish to embrace Art History Link-Up's mission to make Art History education accessible to all. In my own spatial design practice and research, I consider possible futures of curation and collection in the public and private sphere, and the role galleries and other civic institutions have in the making and informing of culture.
AHLU has grown exponentially since I first enrolled in 2017 and I would personally like to give thanks to all teachers, volunteers, sponsors, and partners that have continued to sustain and expand AHLU for many more future students to enjoy.
About Art History Link-Up
Art History Link-Up enables young people from diverse backgrounds to be inspired by art history and to use it to enhance their life and educational experience. By enabling access, we believe that art history has the potential to transform students' lives, and that they in turn, have the potential to transform our visual culture. Since we were founded in 2016, over 400 young people from 200 state schools across the UK have studied with us free of charge in some of our finest galleries - including the National Gallery, Wallace Collection, and the Courtauld Institute of Art - and online. Students work towards qualifications, including A level Art History and an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), supported by homework clubs and expert mentoring, as well as careers guidance and support with university application.
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