By Year 10 student Hannah Diamond
On the fifth of October at 9:05 am, 16 Art students and two teachers left Phuket for Chiang Rai, only to arrive 2 hours later in a land known for its temples, culture and breathtaking mountain scenery. We spent our first afternoon sprawled on floors, tracing and drawing golden designs that coated ravishing temples that towered over us. We followed this by venturing through a nearby market and visiting the famous clock tower designed by Chalermchai Kositpitpat.
The next day we arrived at Wat Rung Khun a glittering whitewashed temple, freckled with mirrored chips and we spent the first half an hour devouring the magnificence of the scene. We then had the privilege of meeting and interviewing the creator of the temple himself, Thai National Artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, who is also recognized for his artwork which is exhibited worldwide. As the temple also had a museum holding his prints, sculptures, woodcuts and paintings art, we were given the opportunity to see some more spectacular pieces. The place was overwhelming but in the best and most beautiful way possible. Late afternoon we returned to the hotel to work into our sketchbooks.
Day three was probably my favorite day as we went to see Baan Dam, a rather sinister counterpart, which consists of several structures most of which are stained black and ominously decked out with animal skins and bones. The museum was the former home of the late Thai National artist Tawan Dunchanee. The main building (centerpiece) was black and temple like, a virtual satan’s dining room. Although all of the architecture was stunning what I loved most about the black temple was the aura, it felt magical. Sitting upon rocks, sketching this real life fantasy was a pleasure. On the way back we stopped briefly at Wat Huai Pla Kung Temple which was dazzling in the sunlight and another visual feast. Driving back to the hotel was definitely one of the trip highlights.
We were blessed with the privilege of witnessing Mrs Lester singing abilities which are undeniably exceptional. We spent the last night appreciating the vibrancy of one of the largest walking street night market’s in Thailand. We all agreed that this trip was definitely one of our favorite trips that we had ever been on which made the departure back to Phuket unwanted. Thank you so much to Mrs Lester and Mrs McGuigan for organising such a wonderful trip.
Take a look at the rest of their pictures below: