On Monday 5 October Spanish and History of Art students had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Gail Mooney who has recently been awarded ‘Medalla de Isabel la Católica’– the Order of Isabella the Catholic - for her contribution to Art in Spain. It was lovely to hear Mrs Mooney talking so fondly about Benenden when relaying some of her memories of teachers, subjects she studied and pictures of her old text books! It was inspiring to listen to Gail talk about the different jobs she took on, in various different countries, as it showed that if you set your mind to it, you can really can achieve great things. Gail gave us all a very interesting insight into Spanish Art, including describing the history of some of the great works by Goya and Velazquez (and more); it can definitely be said that we all walked out knowing more than we did before! I think what made listening to Gail so interesting and involving, was the way in which she really gave us her own story, her own thoughts and personal pieces of advice. A lighter piece of advice, which made all of us laugh a little, was to always put important books or valuables in a bookcase because that is the last place robbers will think of. Gail mentioned this in the context of the times when she used to take extremely valuable versions of books back to her home in London.
Overall it was a very enjoyable talk and Gail really inspired us all to keep going with the things we love, whether languages, history of art, or other subjects, and never to think that something is not possible.
We wish her the best of luck for receiving her much deserved Medal.