Last term students in Grade 5 and 6 looked at the work of indigenous artist, Reko Rennie. Students watched interviews with Reko Rennie, which I used as a springboard for discussion around the ethics of street art and the differences between graffiti and street art. Through these rich discussions, students formed interesting perspectives on what they believed justified ‘good’ street art. Reko Rennie uses the diamond motif regularly in his work, which we learnt links to a masculine symbol from his mob. Students incorporated the diamond motif along with an Australian animal of their choice. By using fluro colours, students were able to blend the contemporary with their knowledge of the diamond motif.
In Term 4 last year, the Grade 1/2 students looked at the work of Wurundjeri artist, Judy Nicholson. Students learnt about Wurundjeri dreamtime stories, with a specific focus on Bunjil the creator spirit. Using painting and printmaking techniques, students created these beautiful depictions of Bunjil, which also incorporate elements of the Aboriginal flag. In Grade 2 students used foam boards to print their Bunjil design. The Grade 1s used black markers to draw their Bunjil. This was a great introductory project for students to learn more about Wurundjeri culture and the first people’s of Australia.
This term the Grade 3/4s learnt about a collaborative project between Scott ‘Sauce’ Towney, a Wiradjuri artist, cultural astronomer Trevor Leaman and Wiradjuri filmmaker Dave Towney. Scott Towney created his own artistic interpretations of Wiradjuri constellations studied by Trevor Leaman. Dave Towney filmed the nights sky over Wiradjuri country. Together, they erected an inflatable dome, projected Dave Towney’s film on to the dome and layered on top were Scott Towney’s artistic interpretations of the Wiradjuri constellations. You can learn more about it here: https://bigskiescollaboration.wordpress.com/projects/wiradjuri-constellation-art
We looked at the different Wiradjuri constellations and students picked their favourite one to draw. They then created a foam board print, which they stuck on to a starry background they created in earlier weeks. This was a really unique and interesting project, which allowed students to interpret the sky from a different perspective. Different from that of a white colonial interpretation. Students also had the opportunity to try their hand at foam board printing and the results were wonderful!
This term we’ve be learning about indigenous art. We read a book by Bronwyn Bancroft called Shapes of Australia and made abstract artworks inspired by a tree canopy illustration in the book. Students practiced their fine-motor skills by carefully tracing different sized circles and cutting them out. Students used a variety of different mediums including paint, paper, silver pens and permanent textas to create these beautifully vibrant artworks.
It’s been a long time coming, but here are some photos of the walert-gurns that the Grade 3/4 students created in Term Two as part of the Animals in Art unit. Not only did the students create drawings, paintings and a fabric piece illustrating Australia’s beautiful fauna, they also learnt about the anthropological history behind these amazing artefacts. Keep your eyes peeled because in the coming weeks they will be mounted on the wall in the Early Learning Centre!