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National Art School - HSC Intensive Studio Practice

Three students from this year were fortunate enough to be a part of the National Art School HSC Intensive Studio Practice Course of 2023. This was an incredible opportunity and we - Ella Sherman, Milly Ginzberg and Tamarah Aaron - would love to share our experiences.

I am Tamarah. The course that I was accepted into was Life Drawing which offered a mature and practical space to practise drawing the human body from life.

Drawing times would range from two minutes to two hours with thirty-minute intermissions for the model. Materials included charcoal, ink and pencil which were explored sporadically over the two weeks. Drawing the figure from sight taught me incredible observational skills and allowed me to recognise the fluid motion of every pose. The human figure has always been interesting to me, and this course has given me the proper skills to use this interest in my body of work and even abstract it appropriately to communicate my own concepts. It was also inspirational to watch the methods of the teachers, witnessing their acute and impressive eye for technical critique.

I am Milly. The course I was accepted into was Black and White Darkroom Photography which taught me the foundations of photography right from its origins. We first used pinhole cameras, one of the first methods of photography that was invented, which gave us insight into how a photograph is taken.

Then we experimented with making cyanotypes where we used nature and negatives printed on perspex, to create images with the sun. For our body of work, we used SLR cameras with black and white film. We each decided on a concept for our series and spent two days around the NAS campus taking photos. Along with developing our photos in the darkroom and curating our works in the gallery, this experience was amazing for helping me develop my interest and practice in photography. It was great to spend time with like-minded people my age who shared the same passion of art as I did.

I am Ella. The course I was accepted into was Ceramics, where I was able to experiment with different types of clay, glazes and techniques. We began with a simple form, pinch pots, to become familiar with the different types of clay we had available.

From there, we were encouraged to experiment with clay, testing techniques and developing ideas. Towards the middle of the first week, most students had begun creating their final work. There was a range of works in my class, including sculptures, vessels and pieces made using moulds, in various shapes, sizes and numbers. This course not only provided an environment full of creative student minds, but presented an opportunity for feedback from an artist who specialises in ceramics. I was able to challenge myself and produce a final piece of art that I was extremely proud of, alongside many other students who shared similar creative passions.

By Ella Sherman, Milly Ginzberg and Tamarah Aaron

The HSC Intensive Studio Practice course is a 60 hour NESA endorsed course run by the National Art School in Darlinghurst. Out of 390 applicants statewide, an impressive three Emanuel School students were accepted. The course is split into two sessions that run during the mid-year and Term 3/4 breaks respectively. Our students completed both sessions, which culminated with a beautiful exhibition on the grounds of the exclusive Art School.


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