'Chimera' - mythical creatures
Chimeras can be found in legends, fairy-tales, and modern fables. They are often mythical creatures made of multiple animal parts that contain a special power or spiritual significance.
Initially, students created their chimera using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Students drew their completed designs onto aluminium etching plates using an engraving needle. The plates were then seeped in ferric chloride; a mild acid that bites into the engraved lines, creating visible marks. Students used repeated lines and patterning effects to suggest multiple textures and to enhance a sense of three dimensionality in their creature.
Each student attempted to complete a small edition of prints using an etching press. Ideally, each print in an edition is identical. Fastidious and uniform technical skills enable the students to create a clean and perfectly aligned print.
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.