Head of Visual Arts
Creativity and collaboration is rampant in Visual Arts, to our core.
Creativity: is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.
Collaboration: is the action of working with someone to produce something.
Visual Arts Stage 6 Syllabus rationale: “Visual Arts values how students engage in intelligent and adaptive performance, building their own skills and abilities in the production of artworks. Such action is dependent on reflection, the refinement of critical skills and the development of judgement. With the making of an artwork involving various investigations, there is no fixed guarantee of success although inductive reasoning and the development of competencies and the mastery of routines through practice contribute to improved procedural judgement.”
Visual Arts as a subject, provides various interpretations of the visual arts that are both contemporary and relevant. From the above definitions it would seem inevitable that something powerful will happen when creative minds are put together, and it is true that magic happens at Loreto Normanhurst. Our art studios foster this union and are an authentic space for the development of ideas and imparting of skills and it is a meaningful atelier for the students to grow and develop creatively.
This year we had Susie Dureau as an artist-in-residence at Loreto Normanhurst working predominantly with Year 10 students. We wanted to offer the girls connection, that opportunity to collaborate with Susie and at the same time “build their skills and develop judgement.” Students had direct exposure to a practising artist and the opportunity to work within printmaking and mixed media for a two-week period. Embedded in the genre of landscape, the girls created large, confident and dynamic monoprints of the bushland behind the school and other landscapes that were subjectively meaningful. Susie on the other hand, delved into our archives to investigate our past and using photos and other artefacts, she created a glorious suite of prints including images of the Loreto Sisters playing cricket on the oval and of the Loreto site, as it was in the early years. These artworks capture energy and intention and they are filled with the joie de vivre that the Loreto Sisters must have felt whilst playing cricket in the bush clearing, filled by nature, God and most evidently, purpose.
The girls loved having Susie in the corner of their art room and with one eye spying her creative process, they developed theirs as their work took a new level of considered refinement from the fun they had with freedom of inquiry, the conversations they had working together and their exclusive commitment to making artworks.
“Thoughtful and thorough art education has the potential to build foundational identities that enable the art teacher to move into the real world of their field and identify themselves confidently as art educators and as artists.”
Hatfield Montana 2005
In May this year, we had our inaugural ‘Drawn to Play’ incursion for Year 7 with Cherry Hood, a contemporary and highly regarded watercolour portrait specialist. Drawing is mandatory in the Visual Arts Syllabus for Stage 4, and as a faculty, we discussed the importance of the girls being able to play with line and creativity, with marks and materials to develop their skills and techniques and to support creativity through process. Stations of drawing were set up with large expressive charcoal drawings, models of two life sized Zebras (I didn’t say real!) and a study of tiny little objects drawn in pencil onto concertinaed paper.
Year 7 spent time before the incursion preparing self-portrait drawings from photographs and transferring them to thick paper. During the incursion they rendered their portraits in watercolour. Cherry was a sensation and so were the girls.
Please enjoy the gallery of images provided as the girls have embraced collaboration so beautifully and have developed excellent skills in artmaking with the ability to reflect and discern their own practice.
Ms Monica Boardman
Head of Visual Arts