It seems as the end of every year approaches, we think ‘how did that happen, where did all that time go?’ And then taking a little time to reflect on all the activities the boys have been engaged in, we quickly realise there have been few periods of repose!

A quick look in the rear vision mirror reminds us we have embarked on investigations into aspects of Australian Art history through the 9 x 5 projects across the Junior School Art program, attempting to bring the Australian Impressionists into a more contemporary context. Local and international artists were employed in that endeavour, from Howard Taylor to the American Jasper Johns. Coincidentally one major artwork commemorating the recent reopening of the State Art Gallery is one of a local artist – Christopher Pease with work from his ‘Target’ series. In this series he quotes Jasper Johns’ work, demonstrating Art doesn’t happen in a vacuum, we must always be seeking a wider context, we inform others, they inform us.

As the Year 6 students prepare to depart the Junior School for the Middle School they have been working on some Steampunk self-portraits. They have had to consider shape and scale as they use mechanical imagery with a Victorian aesthetic in completing their design. In years to come, the Teck Deck self-portrait they have completed will hopefully act as a time capsule evoking memories of their time in Junior School.

Manipulating soaked cane into shapes reminiscent of the Marshall Islander’s Ocean-going maps has been the area of investigation for the Year 4’s; learning that the properties of tensile cane can be modified by soaking in water, shaped to the desired form, and left to dry maintaining the new form. The Year 4’s have borrowed techniques and materials used historically to make their own contemporary artworks.

The Year 3’s have been working on colour, using a colour wheel to help inform and guide their colour choices as they represent the Aquinas College Campus viewed from Google Earth. It has been a joy to watch the myriad colour combinations so enthusiastically explored!

Wearing safety goggles has been a novelty for the Year 5’s as they use soft Aluminium wire to represent tools, hand tools and power tools. Drawing in 3D using wire as line provided a suitable challenge, the students having to problem solve how to depict a substantial volume using an insubstantial material!

Exploring negative and positive space inspired by the artist Sarah Robey and her painted artworks has been the focus of the Year 2’s. They have experimented using 9 different media to produce 1 painted piece interpreting the Art Element Space.

Inspired by African Mud Cloth, the Year 1 students are exploring Shape, Pattern, Repetition. They are exploring different painting techniques to produce a single painting on cloth.

One of the last major events on the College Calendar is the Senior School Art Exhibition, this year once again including Design and Technology and Media and the Junior School. For the Junior School, the exhibition is doubly poignant. The younger students are always so excited to see the work and ideas embodied in the work of the older students. But for us the Junior School teachers, we see bygone students doing amazing work, extending and developing in ways inconceivable when we saw them in Year 5 for example!

Once again, the Jacaranda Trees are in full bloom across the campus, bejewelling the trees in soft mauve, this heralds the end of the year, and what a year it has been!

Mr Wain & Ms Wilcox, JS Visual Art Specialists