At the moment I'm completing work undertaken at Kelvin Grove Secondary College in Brisbane that has involved the coming together of around 60 yr 7 students from 5 local primary schools and a group of artists for a short term Artist-in-Residency project.
My group worked on the theme of Seeds and Biodiversity... and was held over 4 afternoon sessions from July to September. The students were remarkably responsive and had more time been possible deeper responses would have flowed quite easily.
The resources to run extra-curricular programs like this involves considerable organisation/funding by the lead school, Kelvin Grove Secondary College's Art + Design staff ... so it is a privilege to be asked along to play a part.
In thinking how to use available time I focused on giving a series of presentations offering a wide-sweeping picture of seeds across time and place throughout Millennia. Various forms of visual stimulus were also shared with students, including material from my own studio practice plus samples of work from two artists I chose to focus on.
This image provided the basis of the idea for the visual work I wanted to create with my group. Given the final outcome was a large work for exhibition at an School Event in late October I was keen to find an approach that would both hold appeal for students and hopefully provide impact when exhibited.
Pictured above is Claudia, a student from my afternoon classes in 2011. Behind her is the "wallpaper" for a presentation I did at a Sustainability Day held in August that year. Here Claudia points to her drawing of a Mahogany seed pod photocopied in positive and negative formats. I've long been drawn to 'text as art' and using word and image to make works.
Hence we explored the work of Australian based NZ painter Robert McPherson:
|Image found here|
and much loved NY artist Keith Haring who blazed through the world in the 80's before leaving this planet far too soon due to Aids.
|Keith Haring and his signature style... image found here|
What these images have in common is a simple graphic linear black and white approach... perfect for a crowded class room where time is limited and visual impact is neccesary!
Here are the first results on week 2 of the program.
students worked on a 30 x 30 cm board
seeds + pods I took in to show students
It took time each week spelling out the complex issues around seeds at this time in history to give students something adequate to work with. My intention was to make sure that any slogans being created in this exercise were coming from an introduction to the multi-faceted story of seeds, the layers and issues and politics and cultural histories. Not every student took that on board but there were those who did have some knowledge on which to build these sessions., with one student in particular on course to become a plant scientist who frequently contributed quite stunning information and ideas to the lessons.
Yesterday I spent time in the afternoon at the school touching up the work and getting ready to create boards for the exhibition. I like these two boards placed together here:
Meanwhile, in the new Studio I've been working flat-out whenever possible getting ready for the Studio Launch on November 23 which I will open to the public that weekend with a small exhibit of new work for sale.
I wrote an extensive post on this at my Visual Eclectica blog this week... take a peak at new work and read about the ideas behind the new Studio venture: Seed. Art. Lab : read here!
new business card
All are welcome to attend the studio launch weekend... watch this space for more information of follow/LIKE my Homage to the seed Facebook Page which will fill you in for sure. Alternatively email me here for more information!
Cheerio for now!