animation for social action
Year 9 Visual Arts students identified contemporary social and environmental issues that they were passionate about. They then searched for poetic texts that explored these issues and used these poems and inspirations for their animated adaptations.
'Chimera' - mythical creatures
Year 9 Visual Arts - Chimera Etchings
In Semester 1, our Visual Arts class created two series of etchings of a chimera as subject matter. A chimera is composed of two or more animals. Some chimeras combine human features with other creatures. Chimeras are derived from mythology, legends, fairy-tales, and modern fables.
Initially we incised the chimera on an acetate etching plate. These were traced from original images that were made using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Our second chimera was much harder as we had to redraw our first image straight onto an aluminium plate, so there was no room for mistakes. The etching plate was dipped for eight minutes into a diluted bath of ferric chloride. The acid bites into the engraved lines, creating visible marks.
Learning to ink the plate and creating an edition of prints on rag paper took a lot of practice. Once our series of etchings were completed, we wrote a poem that described the attributes of our depicted chimera. I loved etching, it was so calming, relaxing and beautiful.
This unit introduced students to Surrealism in art- with particular focus on surreal photographic methods that emerged from this movement. Students explored the fundamentals of Surrealism through the creation of their own digital photogram. Responding to a song, students selected a range of objects and textures to capture the theme and lyrics of the song. Students used digital flatbed scanners and detailed editing using Adobe Photoshop to create these dynamic artworks. Each work portrays ideas and themes in surreal and mysterious ways.
contemporary still life
During Term 1 students were introduced to the topic of Still Life with particular focus on Dutch Vanitas and contemporary variations of still life. Vanitas still life emphasises the transience of life and certainty of death. This is often contrasted through symbolising wealth, death and power. Contemporary still life tends to focus in on the visual elements such as line, colour, form, space and texture. With this knowledge, students composed their own still life arrangements. Using skills acquired in soft lighting and DSLR photography, students captured their still life arrangements. The process was an exciting milestone for the class as it marked a new experience.
At the end of 2020, the then Year 9 Visual Arts students completed a ceramics unit based on the works of Finnish artist, Maija Liisa Vasenius. Students created conceptual links through an expansive study of abstraction and drew upon Elsworth Kelly’s Cite and the influence of John Cage and Jean Arp’s ideas about chance. The introduction of William Burrough’s ‘cut-up and fold-in’ literary techniques inspired the title of this series, after his 1961 novel Soft Machine. This series of artworks explores the relationship between machine shapes such as cogs and wheels, and their connectedness to the human form.