2017 Artist In Residence

I will be working on a project with two schools in Coburg in 2017, to design a sculpture for Harmony Park, which physically connects to these two schools. This project is supported by funding from Creative Victoria.

Theme? Connections – broadly investigating student connections to their bodies, local spaces (park, school), culture, country, friends and community. The aim is to develop ideas for an interactive sculpture for Harmony Park.

Where? 10 sessions will be conducted mainly Coburg Special Development School, a second phase of project will be done off site, with final location of public sculpture in Harmony Park.

Why? So both groups of students learn about collaboration and create something bigger than themselves they can feel ownership over. The sculpture will be designed by them (in collaboration with the artist), which symbolises the connections both schools, and students have with each other and their community.

Summary of Project to Week 5 – Katie’s review

Wow! I can’t believe we are half way through the Artist In Schools project supported and funded by Creative Victoria.

So far we have done so many fun activities – a lot of which involve one of my favourite materials, clay! Last week’s reflection from Kyla Mamic – Assistant Principal of Coburg North Primary School – was that students are working really well together and forming a variety of ways of assisting each other which are really effective. Primary School students have very quickly become adept at using the Aided Learning Displays I make for each session, and it really helps the SDS students become quickly aware of what they need to do.

I am also finding the teamwork in the student groups inspiring, with some of my favourite sessions guiding groups to build the tallest clay tower together, and make parts of hybrid monsters from clay which we connect at the end. We also drew around our bodies on paper last week, which we hope to be pasting up on a wall at Harmony Park, near where we will place our designed sculpture. We have used clay as chalk to draw emojis or faces which express how we felt about sessions, and we have also learned some important clay techniques, such as joining together with slip (or “clay glue”) and making coils (“snakes” of clay) and pinch pots.

We have got some great skills in the group with our dancing, which we do as a warm-up session to get us active and focussed – Star, Mohamed, Truth and Adam all show us some great moves. This week I handed out coloured paint chip cards, and we played a version of the “Statues” game, with a lot of dancing. When the music stopped, we had to find our partner with the matching colour card and say hello.

This was a preface to learning about colour. We learned about watercolour paint, and made our own colour wheels, then we painted some of our clay work, including the textures from week 1. When we went to the park, the students were all able to collect some textures from the ground (based on what we had done in week one, making impressions into the clay from found gumnuts, seedpods and leaves from trees). They also used senses to focus on their place in the park, and what they observed about the space. We will be designing our project to go near the old dinosaur sculpture from a similar project ten years ago.