ARTIST in RESIDENCE
This year, with the support of the Inner West Council our students will have the chance to work with two successful local artists to create plans for a public artwork for the Greenway! This enrichment program takes place in Term 3 and offers students in Years 8-10 the chance to learn from practicing artists, respond to the environment, develop plans for a work that might be seen by the whole community and exhibit as part of the Greenway Art Prize.
Our experiences, student work and details about our 'artists in residence' Adam Galea and Alex Berini will be shared here over the coming weeks!
WEEK 1- Walk the Greenway!
In our first workshop students, staff, our 'artists in residence' (pictured) and Nick Chapman, Greenway Place Manager, set off to explore, document and learn about the Greenway- our very own urban green corridor in the inner west. Students hopped on the light-rail and travelled to Leichhardt North Station and then walked back towards Dulwich Hill from Iron Cove.
Along the way we investigated and documented the site and learnt a great deal about the work going into preserving and enhancing this unique natural and urban environment. We were amazed to hear about the history of this stretch of land and also of the canals. We considered a range of artworks that have already been designed to connect the local community to the Greenway and create a sense of place and a feeling of shared ownership. The students and artists also looked at some of the areas of the Greenway that are less populated and less attractive and wondered how a public artwork might improve the overall feeling of these specific sites.
It was a glorious afternoon! We discovered spaces in our local suburbs that we had not seen before and were delighted to come across many families already enjoying this shared space.
As a group- our team has a big challenge: How can we use art to respond to the Greenway? What kind of artwork might best represent our experiences there and also draw more people to enjoy this space? Can we transform one of the less vibrant aspects of the Greenway?
Lots to think about for our second workshop!
Artists Adam and Alex
WEEK 2- Report by Anastasia
On the 20th of August from 3-4.30pm we had our first school session working on the Greenway Project. All students received a formal design brief and a booklet about environmental art, which also displayed previous artworks along the Greenway.
We then discussed our dislikes and likes about our tour along the Greenway last Tuesday. After, artist Adam Galea and Alex Berini showed us one artwork each of theirs that they are proud of and discussed the process and techniques they used to resolve these works.
Alex showed us a previous temporary artwork he had along the Greenway, that included recycled materials, turned into speakers, hanging from a tree and placed in a specific location where sound could be heard. This work called "Urban Fruits" was later used as inspiration for the 'Sculpture at Scenic World' exhibition in the Blue Mountains. Some details from the works are pictured.
Adam showed us his sculpture which remains outside Dulwich Public school called, ‘The man in the moon', his sculpture (top image) is made out of concrete, is child friendly and well known in the local community.
As a group the Greenway team then brainstormed possible ideas that related to our artwork and the location we have been asked to plan a work for. To finish it up, in the last 10 minutes everyone received modelling clay and in a quick fun activity we each created art that represents the Greenway or that we saw along the Greenway!
We now have a big challenge- start to develop ideas for our own Greenway artwork/s!
'Weight of Faith' by Adam Galea
WEEK 3- Generating Ideas!
Report by Anastasia
During today's workshop all members of our team brainstormed ideas and then sketched them. We also looked at a range of public artworks that might inspire us. Artists Adam and Alex then suggested which of our ideas could be a possibility... and reminded us that there are limitations! These include our budget, the location and the fact that the work will only be exhibited for a period of time.
All together we have 14 interesting ideas so far ranging from art that makes sounds, to art that engages through interaction and also art that uses sound to tell stories. We then discussed what ideas we were leaning towards more and the majority seemed to involve sound and to be made out of organic materials with consideration for the environment and sustainability!
Furthermore, we split the class into 2 small groups and choose which one of our ideas were the best. But, my group mashed ideas together so then we could all have an element included. Overall, today was productive but next week is going to be tough as we have to speed things up! We need to draw up our plans in a resolved and professional manner
Next Challenge- Choosing Ideas, drawing plans that incorporate sound and producing mini models!
WEEK 4- Report by Eloise
In this weeks greenway program we talked about our art work ideas and finalised our designs on paper. We split into two groups to figure out which design we liked the best. We had a lot of good ideas and a lot of new ideas! One of them involves the loved/loathed 'bin chicken' (ibis). Not everyone liked the idea of creating a work that depicted bin chickens but we decided on a few good designs that we liked and also talked about the fact that they are a symbol of Sydney parklands. We also discussed sound and different components that we need to be mindful of, for example the artwork needs to be durable for 15 days and that it need to be able to be able to stand people touching it and trying to push it over. We talked about the aspects of sound and how to use sound in an artwork and how to enhance the space we have been given. Next week we are competing a sound workshop with Alex Bernini and making our own sound artworks in teams.
WEEK 6- Report by Anastasia
This week we finished off our speakers and tested them. They worked! We all can finally say we have made a speaker that can be plugged into any device and can be used to create sound art.
Over the past few weeks we have been trying to refine our ideas for the Greenway. We have two main ideas- the first involves an outdoor public sculpture using sound and ceramics and inspired by playgrounds. We wanted to propose a work with children ( ceramic sculptures) on swings hanging from the trees along the Greenway with the voices of primary school children talking about the Greenway filtering through to the viewer.
Our second idea is very different. We are making a small sculpture for the Greenway Exhibition. So in the last part of our session on Monday we watched and worked with Adam to each create a sculpture of an Ibis. Yes, those bin chickens local Sydney-siders love to hate!
We started by creating the body armature out of a thick wire and then we created the legs with 2 lots of 4 pieces of wire twisted together. It was a difficult task as you need upper body strength, but Adam helped us.
After we finish the structure of our bin chickens we then need to stuff them with aluminium and wrap and dress them with recycled fabrics and materials, I can't wait !
Resolving one idea... Our sculpture entry for the GreenWay Art Prize is in development!
When visiting the GreenWay students noted several Sydney 'bin chickens' foraging for food. These well-known feathered friends are both loved and loathed in Sydney and our students wanted to create a flock of unique and stylish 'inner-westie' bin chickens that reflected our local community. The white ibis is a native species to Australia and an important part of the ecosystem of the GreenWay. DHSVAD students wanted to draw attention to the tenacity and fearlessness of these birds and hope others will learn to appreciate them when they meet them in our public spaces.