The initial practical project we were assigned to create, consisted of a wallpaper design drawn from our cultural context and centred around the following quote by Michael Shermer. “Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.” This later evolved into a ceramic piece. Starting the process, we researched a range of artists in order to broaden our ideas and develop a strong, sophisticated concept. Then we developed a range of thumbnail sketches whilst deciding upon one to be our final design. There were a broad range of ideas that we all addressed in our wallpapers- including ethnicity, stereotyping and labelling others, gender conformity, academic culture, immigration and many more. These were later adapted into intricate designs and developed into a wallpaper. Pattern was a key factor to ensure the formatting aligned correctly and would look fitting if it were to be displayed in an everyday building. Although many challenges arose, everyone in the class persevered and created a meaningful final product. Despite the sketching, editing, constructing and repeating process being quite thorough, it strongly established and engaged upon new skills that can be used to deepen our themes and ability for future projects. Everyone in Year 11 should be extremely happy with the effort and accomplishment reached throughout the task.

Talia Sinani and Tallulah Stein

future artefact

The second project within the “Culture Vultures” unit was creating a ceramic piece or series through the continuation of personal and cultural identity. By being taught a range of practical and suitable skills, we could produce a communicative finished product. Before beginning the construction, we learnt two key techniques for creating a vessel, the slab and coiling method. This allowed for either creating a traditional design, or even a collation of other skills discovered along the way. There were definitely difficulties found throughout, but we embraced every failure and triumph. The main challenges we found included, creatively using the set colour palette and developing a unique vessel structure. There was less room for error with glazing and painting with “slip” as we could not simply delete mistakes where necessary. Key to all of this was mastering time management. Many lunchtimes and afternoons were dedicated to chipping away at this mammoth project to see it completed. While there may have been a bit of worry throughout the process, everyone produced an original and significant final vessel, demonstrating an impressive growth in technique and ideation. The finished vessels from everyone in Year 11 art were highly purposeful and rewarding.

Talia Sinani and Tallulah Stein

propoganda posters

Throughout this term we have been exploring the intent and strength of propaganda posters. We delved into historic posters surrounding the holocaust and WWII, gender as well as the Chinese government. Specifically, we explored artist, Guo Jian’s use of propaganda style painting in order to convey powerful messages about the Chinese government’s manipulative tendencies. After observing specific techniques used within these posters, we moved onto creating our own poster. The style of the posters are based off of Barbara Kruger, a conceptual artist who uses black and white photographs accompanied by bold red text. Students delved into topics such as consumerism, abortion, animal testing as well as internal conflict with one’s ethnicity. After capturing these themes in photographs, we carefully chose text to support and extend the theme. Before embarking on our painting, we made tonal sketches in order to observe the variety of tones we could use within our paintings. We then used techniques we learnt from our course at NAS to trace and paint our photographs and text, which took a lot of endurance and patience. It was challenging to replicate the shading and tones within the original photograph, and it was hard to look at our own paintings from a constructive viewpoint to improve on our works but with much focus and persistence we achieved a myriad of successful posters.

Jemma Salamon

Emanuel School Visual Arts 

contemporary visual practice underpinned by our understanding of the past