MOVEMENT, ANIMATION AND ALCHEMISTRY
A workshop with Nick Dorey.
In a one-day lab session with artist Nick Dorey, year 11 HSC students were asked to question their understanding of artistic production and to negotiate their way through an assortment of unfamiliar materials to create a collection of animated objects.
2017 ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Concordia Gallery’s 2017 resident is Sydney-based sculpture, installation and performance artist Nick Dorey. Dorey was the recipient of the Australian ArtStart Grant and the research fellowship from Sydney College of the Arts in 2014 and the coveted one-year studio residency at Art Space, Sydney, in 2015. Dorey was also curated in Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art by Mikala Dwyer and will be showcasing new work at Cementa Biennial Contemporary Arts Festival in Kandos, 2018. Dorey’s practice, predicated on the logic of Alchemic principles, suggests a preoccupation with introspection and the philosophy of science.
Souring discarded materials, native flora and plant matter from across Newington campus, Dorey has been busy turning Concordia into a lab of composition, decomposition and renewal. From there, and throughout the exhibition, year 11 HSC students will be invited to explore alchemic principles within art practice and negotiate their own material sensitivities with the intention of creating a continued transformation, through production and distillation, of the gallery space.
Speak for themselves
Each year the College’s New Women, a volunteer support group of the Parents and Friends’ Association (P&F) generously support Newington’s artist in residence program. In Term 1, the College welcomed acclaimed Australian contemporary artist Ms Mikala Dwyer. Mikala worked with Year 11 students twice a week for the duration of Term 1 to investigate contemporary painting. Mikala has been exhibiting significantly since 1992 and has received public commissions, Australian and International Scholarships and is held in public and private collections. She currently shows with Roslyn Oxley 9 Gallery and Anna Schwartz Gallery. At the end of her residency at the College, Mikala exhibited her work alongside the Newington boys’ work in an exhibition called Speak for Themselves which ran from 30 March until 9 April.
In reflecting about working with Mikala and the exhibition Speak for Themselves, student Jack De Lacy said, “The experience became a three month collaborative performance. Discussing, listening and painting in her studio, I was taken out of the Concordia art space and enveloped by the physical and spiritual world of Dwyer’s practice. It was the inviting atmosphere of Dwyer’s studio that enabled a collective to form amongst the boys, as we worked separately to create four unified geometric paintings. More than images free of subject matter, or a study of complex hard line painting, the artworks made by Year 11 Visual Arts students represent the thriving Visual Arts community at Newington College.”
Having Mikala work collaboratively with the Visual Arts students was a remarkable experience which helped the boys to learn about the processes, materials and techniques used by an expert in the field. Curator of Concordia, Ms Hannah Chapman said, “The mutuality with which Mikala has related to the boys’ means they are equipped with the confidence to take more creative risks and solve material and conceptual problems with greater commitment and lateral thinking. Mikala’s artistic practice considers the subjective and objective relationship we have as individuals and as part of a community. This has provoked the boys to identify those two states of being and reflect on them in more critical ways.”
The College thanks Concordia Gallery Curator Ms Hannah Chapman for her work with Ms Mikala Dwyer and the Visual Arts students as well as the New Women P&F Group for so generously making the artist in residence program at the College possible.
Officially opened on Tuesday 8 September, Concordia Gallery hosted Reflective Spaces, an exhibition of the seven Year 12 International Baccalaureate (IB) student’s final works. Over the course of two years each artist developed a theme that was reflective of his own personal interests, cultural background and societal vision. The works included a wide range of media from Photography and Film, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking. Each of the seven reflective spaces told the audience a uniquely crafted story of each individual artist.
IB Visual Arts teacher Ms Marina Hinves was responsible for supporting the boys on their artmaking journey and was grateful for the opportunity to get to work with and know each of the boys. She said, “As a teacher I think that one of the most important things is to see them fly. At the beginning of the IB course many of them don’t know how and where to start. My job is not to make things happen, but to teach them how to do it themselves. This exhibition truly reflects on their ability to fly, and to some extent my ability to show them the way.”
At the exhibition Ms Hinves invited each of the boys to speak about his own personal experience which culminated in the exhibition. Year 12 Felix Shannon said, “We have been able to cast ourselves across multiple canvases, multiple visions, and that’s something this course has really allowed us to do, allowed us to spread our wings and fly.”
The boys all expressed their great gratitude for the support and guidance that they received from the Visual Arts staff at Newington, especially Ms Hinves who encouraged them to learn and grow. Year 12 student Jake Holden said, “Before Year 11 I didn’t actually do VA since Year 8, so coming into the classroom with people who had done it for the past few years I was expecting to be way behind everyone. But the whole class, especially Ms Hinves and all the other boys were extremely supportive…The whole class has helped each other throughout the process and it’s something that’s been incredible.”
Congratulations to Samuel Clark, Jake Holden, Daneal Khurl, James Peppercorn, Felix Shannon, George Squires and Forrest Whitcomb who worked so hard to create unique and meaningful art over the past two years in their IB course. Special thanks to the Visual Arts staff, particularly Ms Hinves for all of her work behind the scenes work.
HSC Final Works Exhibition – Manoeuvre
“I’m fascinated by everything I see around me. I like to have a go, interpret how I see things, because if you don’t try, you’ll never know.” – Michel Tuffery.
In Term 3, Newington College welcomed Michel Tuffery, a multi-disciplinary artist from New Zealand who was the guest of honour at the annual HSC Visual Arts Showcase Exhibition.
Michel’s artistic practice is one that is both experimental and universal. His works explores concepts which question the role of the artist, the audience and the function of art itself across a range of mediums from printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture, video and audio installation. Rather than working within set boundaries, Michel’s works are an endless search for new questions and possibilities and it is Michel’s modus operandi that informs the title of this year’s HSC Final Works exhibition – Manouevre.
This year, works from three Year 12 HSC classes were exhibited. The boys have been working on their bodies of works since Term 4, 2014 and the exhibition displayed not only the end product, but the various material and conceptual stages that have led to the production of the final work. Drawing inspiration from school, sport, music, aviation, the human psyche, and philosophy, students have experimented with a diverse range of materials to express what art means to them.
Michel Tuffery believes in experiencing artmaking and the gallery space as a ‘mental break’ from the real world and during his address to the audience at the Opening encouraged visitors to allow themselves time away from everyday life by going to see art.
With this in mind, this year’s gallery space was deliberately curated to demonstrate Michel’s thinking. The Year 12s constructed a space that was energetic yet meditative at the same time. A place that promotes open mindedness and creative thinking. While the works themselves are stationary in their physicality, the reasoning, interaction and feelings that have led to their creation pulsate through the gallery.
A big thank you to Mr Thompson, Mr Pawley, Ms Chapman and Ms Deng for their commitment to the boys this year and for their tireless work on the edition. An additional thank you goes to Ms Sabine Tanase for her ongoing support of the boys and their ideas. None of this could have happened of course without the help of the Newington College Design and Technology department, so thank you to Mr Burgess and Mr Yates for their expertise.
Anger Workshops show boys potential to love
Stuart Ringholt’s artwork (Untitled) Clock 2014 has recently been named in MCA Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor’s top 10 contemporary Australian artworks. He has represented Australia multiple times internationally at art events such as Documenta (13) 2012, Singapore Biennale in 2011, TarraWarra Biennale in 2008 and the Sydney Biennale to name a few.
He has a richly-researched understanding of fear and anger and has been working for over 10 years to consider how leading workshops may be a way to explore emotional development. His artistic practice is interested in providing opportunities for more cohesive social relations in a society whose behaviours are becoming increasingly conditioned by technology.
Year 10 Visual Arts students and Year 10 Photographic Digital Media students were invited to be participants and audience members, respectively of Ringholt’s artwork Anger Workshop. In this artwork he instructed boys on safe and practical ways to focus on and release a stress they had, while listening to loud, Techno music. The boys were then instructed to hold hands with another student, apologise to them, tell the other they loved them and hug with eyes closed for three minutes, listening to Mozart.
Visual Arts boys then reflected on their experiences and were interviewed by Photographic Digital Media (PDM) students. Jonathon Eassey (10/FL) revealed “You feel a bit awkward being that close, but it’s also relaxing at the same time knowing that you have apologised for all the things you’ve struggled with, being held by someone and then listening to their breath and their chest rising and falling.” PDM students then worked with a combination of documentation, audio interview, and representations to create four video works for the exhibition Has Potential.Visual Arts boys learnt collage techniques from Ringholt and worked over the next two days to communicate their experiences from the workshop.
Students’ Max Higgins (10/LE) and Roger Li (10/FL) formally opened the exhibition on Tuesday 12 May at Concordia Gallery to a strong crowd of enthusiastic boys and proud parents. The exhibition was open for two weeks at Concordia Gallery. Visitors included students, grandparents and external art community members who recognised the boys’ courage and vulnerability.
We are very fortunate that such experienced professionals are willing to share their skills with the boys. Along with collage techniques, the key skill that Ringholt equipped the boys with was how to manage fear as an artist. He recommended practical ways to avoid operating in fear, as through his research he believed it was one of the biggest inhibitors to making art.
We appreciate Stuart travelling to Sydney at a busy time professionally and personally to work with the boys at Newington and to Ms Hannah Chapman, for curating the exhibition Has Potential. Thanks to Mr Andrew Pawley for directing the Photographic Digital Media students and Mrs Katherine Francis for her support of the boys and project as a whole.
Artist-in-residence Mitch Cairns teaches boys how to make art meaningful
Two-time Archibald finalist, emerging painter and most recent New Women artist-in-residence Mitch Cairns opened his exhibition One-Idea-Per-Canvas on Tuesday 10 March at Concordia Gallery. Showcasing both his own works, and those completed by Year 11 HSC and IB Visual Arts students during the Annual Bundanon Art Camp, the exhibition featured contemplative abstract pieces that utilised a reduced palette of blues, blacks and whites with multi faceted geometric shapes. In one room was an animation of drawings completed by several boys, and in another was Mitch Cairns’ working studio.
Throughout Term 1, Mitch’s studio at Concordia Gallery has been the hub of inquiry for many Year 8 Visual Arts students. Just by visiting the room where the artist creates his works, the boys have been able to gain insight into a professional artist’s art making procedure and ask Mitch about the ideas and processes that he uses to resolve an idea. One task the boys had to complete was to write a hypothetical transcript of a conversation Mitch might have with an artist from any historical period, which they thoroughly enjoyed.
The title of the exhibition One-Idea-Per-Canvas grew out of a phrase Cairns used to explain to the boys his conceptual and material approach to art making. It is also the name of the approach he demonstrated in a series of technical procedures and systems for generating ideas with senior students which they have then employed to create the paintings hanging in Concordia Gallery.
We are very grateful to the New Women P&F group to have provided this opportunity and there is no doubt of the impact an experience like this makes on the boys’ learning and understanding. Most importantly, it has helped the boys cultivate a sense of importance and need to make their own art meaningful.
Archibald Finalist at Bundanon Art Camp 2015
The ‘New’ Artist-in-residence Program continues to go from strength to strength as it now begins on February 1 as part of the Year 11 Bundanon Art Camp for HSC and IB students.
The first 2015 resident, Mitch Cairns, who was a finalist in the Archibald portraiture prize last year, gave two long and intensive drawing workshops, and co-chaired the lecture on Representation in Contemporary Art. No doubt, he was the highlight for many boys on camp. In one workshop which involved boys being challenged to think about the non-literal representations of objects they had drawn, and how these associations can add meaning to their artwork, Elliot Ulm (11/LE) said,“I want to portray a message within my artwork rather than just making lines on a page.”
Students where also given a lesson on the history of art and learned about the significance of choice in modern art and context in contemporary art. This made an impression on student Sam Sommerville (11/LE) who said he hopes “to keep drawing with intention so the audience knows that it is my artwork and what it is about.”
The three day and two night masterclass is an incredible opportunity for students to learn about and work within an environment that is so rich in Australian Art History. The Bundanon Education Centre, which was the home of the legendary Australian painter Arthur Boyd and his wife Yvonne, was designed by the Pritker Prize winner, Glenn Murcutt. The unique opportunity to attend this camp allowed the boys the focus, time and framing to gain a deeper understanding about what art is, before they begin the making and writing journey of the HSC and IB Visual Arts courses.
The goal for the teachers, Mr Andrew Thompson, Ms Marina Hinves and Ms Hannah Chapman was to bring the three classes into one creative community so that they could support and challenge each other to reflect. “I think the workshops were all really good as they pushed us out of our comfort zone so that we could challenge the way we make art,” said Fergus Kinahan (11/MA).
Ms Marina Hinves said that the benefits of the camp continue well into Year 12 and beyond. “The opportunity to work over long periods of time in a beautiful landscape, enables the boys to richly develop their skills and understanding of landscape representation.”
Students also valued the expertise that a professional artist brought to the instruction and communication of ideas and techniques, “because he’s not a teacher, but a passionate artist, he’s teaching us in a completely different way,” said another student.
Many thanks to Mr Andrew Thompson, Ms Marina Hinves and Ms Hannah Chapman for organising this unique experience for the Visual Art students.
Art Students Test New Ground with Jensen Tjhung
Jensen Tjhung was the 2014 P&F Association’s New Artist-in-Residence putting a new spin on the art-making process for boys from Years 8-11. The Melbourne-based artist whose works are known for challenging the art world’s status quo was accommodated at Newington College from Thursday 24 July to Saturday 6 September. In that time, he gave lectures in Old Boys Lecture Theatre to the entire Year 8 group; led screen printing and painting workshops, and workshopped with a select group of Years 9-11 boys to resolve ideas and present them in a rich body of work which opened at Concordia Gallery last Friday, 5 September.
The exhibition was called “Testing Ground”, a fitting name considering the encouragement the boys received from Jensen to explore new ways of thinking about and their own practice. Jensen’s enthusiasm motivated the boys to experiment and discover new artistic methods, and in some cases radically challenged the boys to question established ideas about artistic mediums, in particular drawing. Jensen introduced the boys to the power of Contemporary Art to move audiences who—upon seeing a new artwork—’actualise’ it within seconds.
Jensen suggested the boys explode both physically, and conceptually, the idea of the white canvas or drawing plane, including shooting a bullet through paper as a mark making exercise. This activity provided the starting point for more complex ideas around the meaning of art and how systems of belief can be shaken and changed.
Throughout this process boys noted that, “Jensen took us out of our comfort zone but it wasn’t uncomfortable.”
On the Opening Night, Director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Aaron Seeto said that the conceptual and technical quality of the works produced was parallel with tertiary level students.
Jensen’s speech to the boys was inspiring and heartfelt. He spoke about each boy who had work hung up in the exhibition, and spoke about what each had achieved.
His final piece of advice to the boys was for them keep alive their ability to think as artists.
Recently two Year 11 boys were asked to speak about their experiences working with Jensen to a group of University of New South Wales Faculty of Art and Design students. When the group saw the level of sophistication in the Year 12 students’ works, one of them asked,
“It seems like you were able to overcome a lot of challenges through the lack of restriction in this project—is there anything you now fear in your artmaking?”
Rowan Smith (11/PR) stated: “The freedom was in the making, the challenge was in making it excellent.”
Our Year 11 boys went on to say that during the making of the project, a combination of having no assessment criteria or syllabus outcome, with having an artist mentor who provided unconditional support meant that they were given the rare opportunity to develop their own artist practice.
“With Jensen there was no wrong way or right way; just your way.” Lachlan Adams (11/FL)
Special thanks to the Head of Visual Arts, Mr Andrew Thompson, Mr Andrew Pawley, Mrs Marina Hinves and Mrs Katherine Francis for their support in this collaborative project. It is always a challenge to bring in new approaches and they are an incredible team to embrace these changes with so much energy and passion.
Thanks also to the Rifle Shooting staff at Newington College, Mr Karl Watson and Mr Greg Pike, who provided training and supervision in the initial stages of the project in the Rifle Range.
HSC and IB Boys shine at And Finally …
The connotations of ‘And Finally’ are many. Everyone in close proximity to an HSC Body of Work will utter these words at some point. Students can rightly say “…and finally people can see what I have done”. Parents can secretly breathe a sigh of relief “…and finally there are no more late nights and trips to find obscure materials”! For teachers “and finally” means an extra push to the end, the finishing touches complete.
But ultimately “and finally” is for the audience. It is you, who completes the artmaking process: your responses and engagement with the artworks reveal their relevance and significance in the world.
Art communicates beyond explanation and words. An HSC Body of Work is more than an exam, it is a different enterprise altogether. The artworks on display are about these students and their ideas, and what it is they want the world to know.
From catalogue notes, And Finally …
The biggest crowd Concordia Gallery has seen, with over 300 guests, attended the Opening Night event of And Finally … an exhibition of Year 12 IB and HSC Visual Arts and Industrial Design works. Dr Kerry Thomas, Associate Professor of the School of Education at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales said she was overwhelmed and shocked by the quality of work on display. With over thirty years experience in schools and at the Board of Studies, Dr Thomas was particularly impressed with the complex messages and meaning each work across all four exhibition rooms conveyed.
Artist and lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney Todd McMillan opened the exhibition and observed that the quality on display at And Finally … was on par with professionals.
I thank all staff who were involved in helping each boy develop his works, and urge those who have not come and seen the exhibition to make sure they do before the closing day on Saturday 30 August.
Opening Night Success for Approaching FL350
Approaching FL350 was a temporary installation artwork at Concordia Gallery shown on Friday 16 May that was inspired by the artistic practice of artists Heather and Ivan Morison. Heather and Ivan Morison were in Sydney for the Sleepers Awake Project for C3West, and as an aside completed an artist-in-residency at Newington College.
One the night of 16 May, Concordia Gallery transformed into an airport from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. There was a specially designed aeroplane with numbered aircraft seats. Families, friends and members of the Newington Community were invited to book a seat on one of the eights flights running on the night, and once ‘passengers’ arrived , they received their boarding passes before being ushered into the Gate Lounge.
The flights ran for 20 minutes each and involved a flight crew made up of four talented Year 10 Drama students – Jeremy Leonard (10/FL), Harrison Saunders (10/LE), Robbie Tighe (10/ME) and Elliot Ulm (10/LE). Before the plane took flight, a safety briefing was given. In the duration of the flight, an in-flight film constructed by Year 11 Visual Arts students was shown, and refreshments were handed out. Artist Ivan Morison attended the event and was very impressed with the professionalism and the detail of the experience.
“What’s important about making a good piece of art is that you have to think about the whole experience through completely and clearly, before you even walk into the lounge, the check-in counter and your boarding pass. That is really great and truly remarkable for students.” – Ivan Morison on Approaching FL350.
The immersive installation was a collaborative effort from eight Year 11 Visual Arts students who conceived, developed and executed the idea from the making of the uniforms, lighting and sound, to the outstanding ‘inflight film’. The film was a montage of audio and visual clips from films and movies that formed a narrative of a boy being changed by his encounter with the world. It was a provocative film that left all passengers questioning and reflecting.
“The thing that made the biggest impression on me was hearing the voice and believing and taking the instructions… to be willing to be part of the journey of transformation. Then I guess how well constructed the audience participation was because you had time and the physical simulation of a flight to process your role in this suggested change.” – Sydney-based Curator on Approaching FL350.
Concordia Gallery Curator Hannah Chapman was thrilled with the event with all 200 seats booked out on the night. She is still hearing stories about people’s experience on the night, including rave review of the student-produced film and graphic works on the windows of Concordia Gallery. She would like to thank Mr Andrew Pawley, Mr Aaron Landers, Ms Tamara Smith, Mr Ben Williams and Mrs Yvonne Gray in their contribution to the event.
Calling all passengers for flight FL350 departing this Friday 16 May
The upcoming show at Concordia Gallery has caused some buzz among the Newington community over the last couple of weeks. Not only does it see Newington College boys pair up with internationally-renowned artistic duo Heather and Ivan Morison, who are currently in Australia exhibiting with the Museum of Contemporary Art, but it also begs the questions, why is this a one-night-only event? What is going to happen which cannot be replicated day in and day out, and what should show-goers expect after they present their boarding pass for their designated “flight”?
Visual Arts has always had a reputation of pushing boundaries and making audiences view the world differently, so we asked Year 11 student Ashan Karunagaran (11/KL) to give us a teaser into the exhibition, and more importantly, how he came to work on Approaching FL350.
“I have been a passionate aviation enthusiast for as long as I can remember, and flying has always been present in every aspect of my life. Flying regularly to Vietnam and Hong Kong to visit family, regular travel within Europe when we lived in Cambridge, and my father’s previous work in aviation all directly influenced my passion.
“When questioned with the idea of an artwork, as with everything else, I instantly thought of all the possible aviation influences. I was inspired by the flight path and the planes that fly over Newington each day and combined that with the concept of sleeping and lights (night sleeping). I saw an aircraft as the perfect basis for an installation work.
“When I fly, I enjoy every minute of it and take in everything the environment showcases. Night flying always has a sense of awe and beauty associated with it. Whilst many passengers sleep, I admire the stillness and peace in the cabin. The dark cabin, a few flickering entertainment monitors, little repeated seat-belt, no-smoking and attendant call lights dotting the ceiling. The drone of the powerful engines, the intermittent flickering of the blue and red strobe lights. It’s pure bliss and peace. An environment of relaxation.
“As the artwork was to feature the use of light as well as be influenced by the concepts in the work “Sleepers Awake” by Heather and Scott Morison, I found this to be the perfect opportunity to experiment with my passion for aviation and flying.
“I thought that by re-creating a somewhat abstract version of an aircraft cabin at night time, others may experience the awe and wonder that they usually miss when they are sleeping onboard an aircraft.
“On the Friday 16 May we will be showcasing this unique installation, which will simulate the experience of flying at night. To accompany the flight will be an inflight film, aimed at displaying ideas of transformation. The brief flights will allow viewers to gain new insights through the film, as well as experience occurrences that may otherwise be overlooked.”
Ashan Karunagaran (11/KL)
Year 11 Visual Arts Student
Bundanon Visual Arts Camp
From Sunday 2 February to Tuesday 4 February 2014, 43 Year 11 Visual Arts students and Mr Thompson, Mr Pawley and Ms Chapman travelled to the Bundanon Trust, property of the late Australian artists Arthur Boyd in the Shoalhaven River area.
“The camp is planned as an introduction to the Senior Visual Arts program, structured along the line of an intensive university level course where students undergo a series of lectures and masterclasses in various art making techniques. In the lectures Visual Arts Teacher, Mr Pawley introduced the notion that all artworks are forms of representations as well as many of the significant concepts covered in the HSC course”, said Rowan Smith (11/PR). “I no longer value art by how realistically it represents its subject”, he added.
The days are spent on the inspiring property of The Boyds, all 1,100 hectares of it. Boys visited Arthur Boyd’s original studio and homestead and worked within the conditions of the landscape to create sculptures. They were able to further develop their skills through drawing and painting workshops continuing to engage in representing the landscape.
“In the rural area, there was so much around to work with. So many different landscapes and intricate natural objects to find. I really appreciated the level of diversity in the area that enabled us to explore so many different ideas. Because of the diversity, every one of us could create something completely different and unique”, said Ashan Karunagaran (11/KL).
From their experiences boys were then asked to select aspects of their impressions to represent in their own artworks. Unsurprisingly the American Institute of Architecture Gold Medalist and Pritzker Prize winner, Glen Murcutt’s accommodation was a highlight for the boys.
“I appreciated the peacefulness that the buildings allowed us to enjoy and work in. It gave us the chance to always be in the environment and observe it from multiple perspectives no matter where we were in the buildings”, said Mackenzie Connell (11/FL).
Year 11 students are spending all of Term 1 developing the ideas through a range of mark making techniques that will eventually be compiled into a book that they will submit.
As teachers we find this intensive time away incredibly helpful for the boys success in the Preliminary and Higher School Certificate Visual Arts course. The content they are able to absorb and then employ is unique to the teaching and learning at Newington College and provides a critical platform for their future achievements in the course.
Thank you to Head of Visual Arts, Mr Andrew Thompson for his organisation and leadership in this camp.
James Angus Sculpture – Gift from ON 2011, 2012 and 2013
As their gift to the College ON 2011, 2012 and 2013 decided to put money towards art works for the newly refurbished Stanmore 7-12 campus.
The result is a sculpture by Australian artist James Angus called White Pipe Compression which now sits in the Sesquicentenary Quadrangle. Angus completed a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at Curtin University of Technology and a Master of Fine Arts (Sculpture) at Yale University School of Art. Today he lives in New York, but his works hold significance in collections nationally and internationally. Angus is well known for his public art commissions in Australia at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra and #1 Bligh Street in Sydney. This year he will be one of the artists at the 2014 Sydney Biennale.
The sculpture White Pipe Compression was originally exhibited at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in 2013. Angus’s sculptures investigate the materials and processes of art, design and architecture and this work, in particular, challenges the stereotypical physicality of steel by creating a character of curves and bends.
We are thrilled to have the large sculpture installed in front of Founders Building for the community to appreciate and to celebrate the grounds of the College. The Visual Arts staff look forward to providing in-depth learning about the sculpture, abstraction in Visual Arts and Australian contemporary art with the boys in the year ahead.
WYVERN BIENNALE AT CONCORDIA GALLERY
The Wyvern Biennale, was held in Concordia Gallery. This was the first time artwork from Kindergarten, Year 3 and Year 6 was exhibited. The opening evening was a wonderful night that showcased many young and talented artists. Murat Urlali, a student at the National Art School, was kind enough to open the evening and show two of his watercolour portraits to attendees. Year 6 carried on the tradition of the ‘Wyvernbald’ Portrait and Sculpture prize, with Finn Walsh taking out Work of the Week with his portrait of Norman Reedus. Tom Marchese won the People’s Choice Award with his portrait of Mohamed Ali. Well done to all the boys who exhibited their work in Concordia Gallery. It was fantastic to see the creativity and progression of learning from Kindergarten through to Year 6. Students will see their work at the next Biennale in 2015.
Anne Zahalka – Artist Q & A
After a busy day of workshops with Year 9 Photomedia students we sat down with Anne Zahalka to talk about her upcoming exhibition, Anne Zahalka and her Amazing Artists, which opens at 6pm on 22 October 2013 at Concordia Gallery. We asked Anne what advice she would give budding artists among us and how she came to become the inaugural artist-in-residence at Newington College.
How long have you been the artist-in-residence at Newington College?
I began the residency at the end of August and returned following the school holidays to do a full day workshop/incursion on Friday last week. The residency ran for two months and was funded by the New Women Committee at Newington.
Can you tell me about some of the projects and workshops you have participated in while at the College?
The project began prior to the College’s Open Day, Back to Newington Day, where I planned to set up an open studio/photo-booth on the grounds of the College using the historic Founders Building as a backdrop and context for a series of portraits. While doing a reckie I came across a group of ‘Old Boys’ celebrating their 70th reunion and invited them to sit for a group portrait. This encounter was memorable and proved a rich beginning to my residency.
As the school marked its150th Anniversary this year, the publication The Newingtonian reproduced a collection of early photographs of the school which was a valuable resource for my research. David Roberts, the College Archivist, was able to show me through the College’s collection of photos and objects which were of great interest to me, particularly the early photographic portraits. These provided a basis from which to plan the Back to Newington Day shoot and a way of beginning work for the residency.
The images taken during Back to Newington Day will form an album for the exhibition at Concordia along with selected images to be displayed on the walls. The workshop undertaken with the boys involved a studio portrait photographic shoot using green screen and a collection of props and furniture to create a set. The students selected a photographic work that they had been studying and were to dress-up in appropriate costume with suitable props and play out the character in the original work. These portraits would then be superimposed digitally into a similar scene or landscape to be printed up for the exhibition. I also presented two slide lectures prior to the incursion where I discussed the background to my work with a particular focus on the artist portraits and how I went about making them.
What is the concept behind the upcoming exhibition Anne Zahalka and her Amazing Artists?
The upcoming exhibition will contain a collection of ‘Artist’ portraits which began in 1990 that explore myths and stereotypes surrounding the figure of the artist in contemporary art. The portraits were originally made in a studio at Gertrude Street in Melbourne during a 3 month residency there and were exhibited at Anna Schwartz Gallery (then City Gallery). A selection of these were shown at the Sydney Biennale and an extended series at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Adelaide. Some works were exhibited over the following years and then put into storage until 2007 when a major survey of my portrait work, curated by Karra Rees from the Centre of Contemporary Photography in Melbourne was held. I had gone on to make a number of new artist portraits to reflect on the changes in contemporary art practice and to record artists within the context and spaces they were engaging with. The survey show titled Hall of Mirrors, travelled extensively in Australia but was never shown in Sydney; therefore, it is a great pleasure to exhibit these works at Concordia and bring them back to life.
In showing this body of work within an artist residency, I thought it would be interesting to make a new portrait of myself using the same green screen device that the boys had worked with. It was shot in the studio last Friday following the incursion and it has been montaged into a landscape of my earlier series Wildlife. It is an ironic portrayal of the artist on safari ‘shooting’ scenes captured on a laptop which are visible to the viewer. It pokes fun at the idea of the courageous and brave artist who goes out into difficult territory to bring back images for their audience to devour and consume. This lies at the heart of the artist project and much of my art practice.
Who are the ‘Amazing artists’?
The ‘Amazing artists’ are the artists represented from this earlier series but also the Year 9 boys who undertook the challenge of placing themselves into another artist’s landscape and practice.
What have you enjoyed most about working with the boys / Newington Community?
I found the boys to be really receptive to my work and to the ideas presented. They were undaunted stepping into the shoes and characters of another’s work and they all found ways of creatively playing a role. These artworks will form part of the exhibition and I’m looking forward to seeing the final results. They were really competent with camera operation and understood immediately how the images might work visually. I found the students grateful for my help and extremely polite which made the whole experience rewarding and easy.
Working with Hannah Chapman and her team has been a great pleasure. They have been so supportive, professional and lovely during my time at Newington; they have made me see how valued and important the art department is to the school and they must be congratulated on nurturing a culture like this with people who care.
What do you plan on doing next?
I am undertaking a commission with the Parliament House in Canberra to mark their 25th Anniversary and I am creating a body of work to reflect on the life and culture of those that work and visit there. The works will go into their impressive art collection and be exhibited at the beginning of Parliament’s sitting early next year.
As a practising artist who has been working in the industry for quite a long time, what advice would you give to budding artists out there?
Studying art and practicing as an artist is an extremely rich and rewarding career (although not always financially). However, it can lead to other fields to work in and offers many opportunities creatively. Art engages the public and communities and is a valuable contributor to the culture in which we live and work. It provides a lens through which to filter the world and provides a visual language that is used to interpret, represent and understand it.
Please join us on the official opening of Anne Zahalka and her Amazing Artists which will be opened by former Head of Artistic Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Judith Blackall. Anne also features in the new ABC/BBC series hosted by former Art Gallery of NSW, Edmund Capon called Art of Australia. The show airs 8.30pm Tuesday 22 October 2013 on ABC 1 .
2013 ‘New’ Artist Residency – Anne Zahalka
Anne Zahalka is a successful recipient of the 2013 ‘New’ Artist Residency at Newington College. She is a very prominent contemporary artist who will be working at Concordia Gallery of Newington College, Stanmore. Through her artistic practice, she will be working with students to explore the history of the Concordia Gallery site and the idea of family heritage in order to provide an understanding of the ‘new’ and ‘old’ in portrait photography. A body of work will be developed with Newington College boys throughout her residency which reflects the cultural and historical importance of photographic archives of one’s heritage and its personal meaning for us today.
concordia hosts super-size sculptor
On Tuesday 14 May Concordia Gallery opened its doors presenting Tim Kyle, a star in the Australian sculpture world. Winner of the 2003 Wynne Prize his large seated and standing men are well known to Sculpture by the Sea attendees.
The mood of the opening night could not have been more exciting and compelling. In the tiny room where Tim’s 10 or so recent sculptures were being exhibited art connoisseurs, up-and-coming artists (including students) and even curious staff members filled the gallery, thrilled to be viewing some of the most appreciated art of the current times (and to sample the fine cheese platters!).
With the help of a few IB Diploma boys, the exhibition was curated by Ms Hannah Chapman, whom we are very lucky to have as a new staff member this year. Newington is also very lucky that Evan Hughes, Tim Kyle’s manager, encouraged Tim to exhibit at our own gallery. To sum up his artwork, Tim states, “The human condition is what concerns me most: response to the inane but trying to remain humane, when people say ‘No’, but you want to hear ‘Yes’, underdogs who fail again and again, war and pieces of peace.” Highlights of Tim’s works include Deep Sea Putt, Black and Blue, and the colloquially infamous Weeing Man.
One unusual piece exhibited was a rather large sculpture resting outside the entrance to the gallery, a large man with outstretched hands. This sculpture in fact was made, with the help of Tim, by a group of aspiring Year 9 artists. “We added layers to build up the tone… Tim likes sticking to grey tones because he used to animate and enjoyed the initial stage, pre colour,” Max Bollington (9/MA), a student in Year 9, recalls. “When we first started working on the sculpture, it seemed very difficult,” said Brad Amituanai (9/JN), “but then [Tim] gave us tips and different ways of approaching sculpting to make it ultimately look like a work of art…overall a magnificent experience.” Another Year 9 class completed an incredible panorama of drawings stencilled onto the walls of the gallery; this added a vibrant flavour to the exhibition.
Tim Kyle’s exhibition also recently acted as a stimulus for a Year 8 English creative writing class. Extra educational benefits like this make the Concordia Gallery such an exciting and valuable tool for inspiring Newington boys.
I have seriously enjoyed being exposed to some great art work, and have been even more thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and interview Tim and find out about his artistic journey and processes. The exhibition finishes on Tuesday 4th June. Be sure to make the time to see it, so you don’t miss out!
John Keene (11/JN)
CONCORDIA GALLERY 2013: A VERY IMPORTANT MOMENT IN ART EDUCATION
Last Tuesday 5 March at 6pm the first exhibition for the year, Now Then and Again was opened by writer and curator John Connell in Concordia Gallery. The evening as Dr Kerry Thomas said, “marked a very important moment in art education”. The exhibition was the culmination of progressively pedagogical ideas of enriching the student learning process through authentic engagement in art world practices.
The crowd of Newington College students, their parents, art education academics and external teachers, artists and architects were stunned and enthused by the artworks. They were engaged with the specificity of the Stones of Newington light installation (pictured above) that allowed detailed and historical sandstone patterns to frame the present view into the Newington College. This work is an extension of Andrew Burn’s art and architecture practice that uses geometry to arrange light and darkness in experiential works. Fellow teachers and past students were amused by the familiarity of the Report Card Comments painting installation and the honesty and revelation that came through looking back into the history of the College’s report cards. This too came from a very energetic one day workshop where Year 7 students worked directly with artist Tom Polo as he guided them to make immediate works in the gallery space–a brave creative act.
It was also an exhibition that allowed us to show some of the new technology in the school. The artworks Stones of Newington and Again were executed with the generosity of the Technology Department’s laser cutter and the artworks Report Card Comments and Again were also brought to us with the support and expertise of David Roberts from Archives.
Teacher Andrew Pawley collaborated with his Year 9 and 10 Photographic Digital Media classes to execute two beautiful reflections on past student photos and the current student body. It was Mr Pawley’s own film and installation artistic practice that directed those classes to contribute to the exhibition in such a sophisticated and resolved medium.
It was wonderful to have the support of Newington staff at the opening including the Headmaster Dr David Mulford who was enthusiastic about the gallery space and how it is being used to advance the teaching and learning in the classroom.
Finally none of the works or show would have been possible without the encouraging and talented Visual Arts Department lead, Mr Andrew Thompson.
Art Department acquires award-winning sculpture
This year Newington has initiated a unique venture to acquire artists works. These can be works that are already in another collection and on loan to the college or from our acquisition policy with the Concordia Gallery.
We have been fortunate enough to make contact with one of our old parents
Dr Richard Goodwin has lent the school his award-winning work Carapace and has also agreed to be part of the inaugural advisory board for Newingtons Concordia gallery.
With oover 30 years of practice as an internationally exhibiting artist and architect, Goodwin has sustained a prolific and professional practice of art and architecture. His work ranges from freeway infrastructure to the gallery to “parasitic” architecture / public artworks. Fundamental to his work and philosophyis—the notion of adaptive re-use and radical transformations.
Goodwin established the Porosity Studio 1996 at the College of Fine Arts (UNSW) where he currently holds the position of professor. The studio enquires into a dynamic understanding of art, architecture and urban design: that the movement of people through the built environment and their patterns of inhabitation constitutes a politically rich layer of architecture. Since 2004 the studios were run as intensive, international, multi-disciplinary workshops and have been recognised and supported internationally by various universities and institutions such as the British Council.
In 2002 Goodwin was awarded the prestigious Discovery Grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC). This body of research, Porosity, has been widely published and exhibited in galleries across Sydney and has begun to influence the way designers, architects, artists and even emergency services view the city fabric. In 2009 the ARC awarded Richard Goodwin a Linkage Grant to develop Porosity using real-time technologies and gaming engines in collaboration with UNSW architecture academic, Russell Lowe.
About the work
Carapace is a seminal piece of public sculpture for Goodwin’s practice and for the Australian Sculptural canon. The work Carapace is made from a vintage Mercedes car, fiberglass and steel. It stands at 235 x 300 x 500 cm and is a monotone bright white. This was acquired by Sydney University directly after its success as the winner of Sculpture by the Sea in 2003.
The noun Carapace means a shield, test, or shell covering, usually of an animal. The explosive artwork Carapace extends and challenges ideas of sculpture. It both maintains a strong three dimensional, permanent form, and projects the internal car limbs beyond it’s covering. The artwork continues Goodwin’s investigation into the notion of Exoskeleton and habitation within a public park space.
We are extremely proud to have this work installed on the lawn outside the Le Couteur Wing on a three-year loan from Sydney University and hope its will stimulate critical conversations. Is art a discipline to protect ideas of culture? Can art as a secondary subject and academic field provide a material process to test ideas about ideas of truth and beauty?
Newington welcomes Ms Hannah Chapman – Educator, Curator and Learner
Newington’s Visual Arts department was extremely fortunate to welcome Ms Hannah Chapman in Term 4 2012 to the role of Visual Arts teacher and Newington’s first ever Curator, at the Concordia Gallery. As Curator, Hannah is responsible for forming a generative relationship between the gallery and wider school community, giving boys access to inspirational works of art, artists and the chance to exhibit their own work in a professional capacity.
Hannah brings to Newington an abundance of experience as a teacher, artist and curator. She is an executive officer of the Visual Arts and Design Educators Association, she advises on the Museum of Contemporary ArtTeachers Council and has worked in curatorial roles at the College of Fine Art’s (COFA) Kudos Gallery and ArtExpress. Last year Hannah won the prestigious NSW Premier’s COFA Visual Arts Teachers Scholarship to study overseas in a way that contributes back to the field. Hannah created a film which documents interviews with artists, curators and audiences of art biennales – often the Head of Visual Arts Mr Andrew Thompson, Head of Music Mr Mark Scott and Head of Drama Ms Tamara Smith at the 2013 Creative Arts Season Launch NSW Minister for Education, The Hon. Adrian Piccoli MP, Premier’s COFA Visual Arts Scholarship recipient Hannah Chapman and NSW Premier,
CONCORDIA – BRINGING CLASSROOM AND GALLERY TOGETHER
Hannah has already made an invaluable impact on Newington’s Visual Arts department, developing Concordia into an impressive and engaging exhibition space and planning collaborations with leading artist Tim Kyle for the year ahead. Hannah works with the Concordia Advisory Board made up of three expert professionals in their respective art industries. The Board members are Felicity Fenner, senior lecturer and chief curator at COFA, Richard Goodwin, Professor and artist and Nick Vickers, former gallery director and now Director of Alumni for COFA. Together they provide up to date information on best practice for the gallery, nominate important artists to consider for collaboration with Newington and offer suggestions on the direction of the gallery