Artist in Residence – BGS

In October I was invited with 3 other Brisbane artists, to participae in a 2 day Art Immersion with Year 11 art students from Brisbane Grammar School .

Day 1: we bussed from the college to their Outdoor Education facility at Pepperina Hill on the idyllic Lake Moogerah.

Lake Moogerah, Queensland

As part of their “Art as Knowledge” unit, the students engaged with the natural environment and used that knowledge to complete a piece of art for exhibition. In charge of 6 students, we began by foraging for different leaves and weeds to explore shape, texture and line. Students were encouraged to dispell any “I can’t draw” beliefs and work through my process of finding their own style of drawing botanical elements. After a series of sketches and frottage in their Visual Diaries, we moved onto leaf printing in the beautiful outdoor setting with Rainbow Lorikeets keeping us company.

Day 2 : in a studio classroom, we spread out and I demonstrated the monoprint layering technique using a GelliPlate and the leaf prints from Day 1. The students had a lot of fun creating their own papers while we discussed topics such as copyright and appropriation, especially important for collage and mixed media artists, and how they apply in Australia.

On a demonstration piece, the students observed how I brought together all the elements from the last 2 days, into a successful and pleasing composition. I talked out my collage process and fielded questions and watched as they slowly filtered away so they could begin their own. Some worked on 2 simultaneously, some completed one then began sketching more compositions in their Visual Diaries, and others needed more time to digest the process.

The Art Department had frames and backing card to display the students’ work (and my demo piece) and the 4 groups were able to display their work in a wonderful and edifying Immersion Exhibition in the Gallery space.

It was such a joy watching how each student became totally immersed in their own piece and becoming so silent and taking ownership for their own outcome. Even though they were following the same process (and at times sharing leaves and flower and weeds and paint), each work is uniquely theirs and they were proud of their achievements, and that was the most satisfying part.

If this interests you either for your school, or workplace, or creative business, happy to talk further. Reach me via the Contact Form.

Giovanna xx

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