'chimera' - mythical creatures

In Term 1, we completed two series of etchings based on the study of mythical creatures and the Chimera. Whilst a mythical creature is derived from mythology or folklore, the chimera is a form of mythical creature comprised of two or more animals. Through the use of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop we developed our own personal chimera; a strange and special creature that spoke to each of us - perhaps because of an unspoken power or even a strange beauty.


Through the development of drypoint techniques, using both traditional and contemporary materials, the class learnt how to create two small editions of prints. What fascinated me was the precision required when printmaking. We focussed on the smallest marks, suggesting the texture of animal skins through the use tiny engraved lines.


It was fascinating to learn about the special papers used in printmaking, to experience the tools unique to this ancient art form and how to create a multiple rather than a one-off artwork. 


Students were inspired by 15th Century, Dutch oil painting style ‘vanitas’. Traditional vanitas represent morbid, decaying still life arrangements that touch on scenes of excess and decay. These works were made to remind viewers of the transience of life and the certainty of death. Students used moody, side lighting and off-camera flash to create dark and ominous still life scenes. They carefully constructed decaying symbolic objects, draped backgrounds and powerful monochromatic, colour scenes to portray traditional inspired works. 

the art of arrangement

Students focused on the interaction between objects they had collected to create dynamic compositions that were tied together by the use of one colour. They deliberately chose and arranged the objects, and made decisions regarding symmetry, diagonals, or contrast in textures.

Soft Machine

Soft Machine is an exhibition of stoneware wall-hangings that explore the abstracted relationship between the machine and the human body.

To develop this dynamic body of work, Visual Arts students explored a range of artists' practices, including the textual techniques of Williams S Burroughs.

Emanuel School Visual Arts 

contemporary visual practice underpinned by our understanding of the past