Head of Visual Arts

Head of Visual Arts

…And breathe. We are now at the pointy end of the final resolution of the Bodies of Work for Visual Arts being completed and the girls are thrilled to reflect on their accomplishments in terms of a sustained practice of artmaking. Since November last year our Year 12 students have been challenged technically and critically and I have to say that they have stepped up to this with courage and determination. Such joy, to now see artworks that demonstrate an articulation of ideas and concepts that are elaborated, reiterated, subtle and sustained coherently.  Artworks that display technical sensitivity, refinement and moderation. The Bodies of Work you will see at the HSC Showcase Exhibition are magnificent.

‘The power of art is the power of unsettling surprise’ Simon Schama. 

It is not an easy journey. It is within this discomfort that we cradle the development of the girls’ critical thinking, putting aside notions of beauty and the somewhat representations of the familiar, students are challenged to react and think in terms of their own experiences. They grind down into the minutia of what they know culturally and subjectively – they lean into  what they have learnt about artmaking practice techniques and processes and they look around their world reimaged, as images from the past and a pastiche for the future.

As we breathe, the students realise that they are at the very centre of the turmoil – strangely comforting as this is their world, one they intuitively know and are eager to continue to represent, to comment on, to stand up to. As young women of Loreto their voices are very present in their artworks, their ideas, their scribblings, they make marks that will last forever, they have become artists and have the courage to go beyond, to think deeply, to be uniquely light and playful, and to confront the very pertinent issues that affect their future.

Visual Arts education is a valuable and important domain that articulates culture and the people at its very centre. It supports genuine inquiry for student to develop critical and creative thinking skills.  Students are thrilled to have artefacts of their own making to take home and display and keep forever, knowing that it was through mastery and their practice that this now exists.

In the photos below you will see two students in Year 10 who are modelling as life figures for the Year 11 class. These were preliminary sketches for the development of their ceramic figure.  This year, students are challenged to construct a sculpture based from these life drawings – find the position and the pose that they can model into a ceramic sculpture.  In Preliminary Visual Arts students focus on the Postmodern, their sculptures will maintain the formal conventions of sculpture in the round, but the patina (surface treatment) will allow the girls to use the sgraffito tool to scribe in the markings they first made in their studies do the figure. The figure will be covered in a creamy glaze and etched back into making scratchy marks to indicate the tone of the figure as first captured in the life drawings, this will peek through revealing the raw and beautiful colour of the buff clay. These photos indicate that process is at the heart of what we do, what we love and what we leave.


Mrs Monica Boardman

Head of Visual Arts