Throughout Term 2, Grade 9 students responded to the theme of “Layers,” both in technique (layering materials/processes) and conceptually (layers of emotion, in society, construction, growth). Students attempted to reinvent a typically traditional subject matter through the idea of layering and making personal connections.
Students explored the following Inquiry Statement through research, analysis, practical experimentation, idea generation and the final realisation of their intentions...
Mixed-media breaks the boundaries of art disciplines, as art can be made of anything or any combination of things.
As an initial starting point, students researched and considered how mixed-media has changed over time and how the Cubists encouraged a shift in attitude towards such artworks. Looking more closely at the work of Sigmar Polke, students then experimented with several wet-media techniques to recreate the layered aesthetic of Polke’s work.
Through these experimental processes, students were able to develop their own meanings and messages in response to the theme. The range of concepts was vast. From the layers of apparent liberty in western cultures, to the layers one's own emotions and character. Or the layers of the subconscious blurring memories and dreams. And the layers and knock-on effects of the destruction of our natural environment.
The resulting artworks fully realise the students sophisticated and imaginative intentions. Well done, Grade 9 artists!
Written by Solaia Suherman, Grade 9, for the Buss Brief Newsletter
The Her Art society is an exploration of the lives, stylistic choices, beliefs, values, and concepts of the great female artists of yesterday and today — through which we can use their art as a window to learn, discover, and grow.
“I’ve always wanted to learn more about women artists, often finding myself pondering upon the questions --
Why does Yayoi Kusama paint polka dots? What was Meret Oppenheim trying to say when she covered a teacup in a Chinese gazelle’s fur? How did Frida Kahlo weave symbolism into her work? What was the place of female artists in society: past and present?
Through this society, we discuss and even answer questions like these. To embark on an exploration of female artists and their ideas will not only lend us the reflection of the world, but also the discovery of our own place in it.
Ultimately, great art is a reflection of humanity. It captures its time and evokes their values. It grants us an understanding of the ever-changing world in which we’re surrounded by.
Appreciating art isn’t merely a matter of aesthetic — it is the unveiling of the underlying message conveyed through it.
So, I hope that others, as well as myself, can hold on to these words whilst we embark on this exploration of female artists. After all, art always goes back to humanity.”
During the Chinese New Year break, the Her Art society set out on a visit to OTA Fine Arts, (Gilman Barracks), to view an exhibition by the sensational Yayoi Kusama. The artist showcased 15 of her monochrome paintings from her My Eternal Soul series (2019-2020), as well as CLOUDS (2019), a sculpture installation of mirror-finished stainless-steel forms. Given that we have been learning about Kusama, her life, and her work, the exhibition was a perfect opportunity to see some of what we have been discussing in the flesh. Indeed, we had a great amount of fun talking, looking, pondering, and learning during the visit. Kusama’s work evoked beauty in pattern and repetition that inspired us all — truly, a memorable afternoon spent.
Showing amazing sensitivity and maturity, Grade 8 have investigated the Art genre Vanitas- still-life artworks in which symbolic objects encourage the viewer to consider their own mortality. As they tackled the provocative and emotive theme of our inevitability, they made insightful links to their studies in English and History. Recognising the similarities between Vanitas, War Poetry and Propaganda, the students made connections using symbolism through imagery and the actual media and techniques used...
Vanitas and War poetry both revolve around the concepts of mortality and the inevitability of death. In addition to this, Vanitas uses symbolism to represent concepts and ideas that would normally be much more difficult to show. War poetry uses symbolism as a way of dehumanising the soldiers, and creating the illusion that they are objects, that of which can be broken.
The obvious answer (to the question of differences) is that one of them, Vanitas, is an illustration, which is interpreted via sight, and you formulate ideas off the basis of a picture, whereas war poetry is a written piece of work, where ideas are formed off the back of words. Not only this, but Vanitas also focuses only on symbolism, and more specifically, death; meanwhile, War poetry is all about war, where death is merely a subtopic under this vast heading.
(The link between the poem, Manhunt and the imagery of the ribcage used...) The poem Manhunt is about the hide and seek-like game two men play in war, with the punishment for being found being death. The poem describes how the bullet penetrates the man's chest, and talks about how it destroys his body from the inside.
Propaganda in the First world war was based heavily on truth, or lack thereof. Governments would alter documents, and give the public essentially, what they wanted to hear. This meant that they were only interested in what the public received. The cutting of paper to exclude parts of the poem is a visual metaphor of the government's actions, representing the exclusion of truth.
Paper-cutting is when you make patterns in paper by cutting parts of it out. This is similar to propaganda as in propaganda you are lying to the people and hiding the truth. By paper-cutting you are cutting out parts of the poem and the reader can only see some parts of it. The partial truth, just like propaganda.
The general criticism and condescending tone of the poem, blaming women almost completely for soldiers suffering, the writer, Siegfried Sassoon‘s brain must be dead set on his idea and opinion, his brain thinks differently and blames different things that are now, in this day and age, morally wrong, another example of the evolution of morals and how our brains are wired to think.
(How propaganda influenced the media and technique used...) The holes in their “truths” aka the blatant lies and stuff they ignore to fit the shape of what their story should look like. Cutting holes represents the holes and gaps in their ways of thinking and the imperfections of what they’re saying.
To encourage virtual visitors into online Art Galleries, the Getty Museum created the #gettymusuemchallenge in which people recreate some of their favourite artworks. DCSL students from Years 2 to 12 accepted this challenge and the results are fantastic!
Over the last two weeks, the Senior School students have been responding to the Tate Gallery’s insta-stories entitled, “A Home can be a World”. Students recorded an area or aspect of their own homes in whichever medium they chose, to represent what their home has been to them during these strange times. The video captures a snapshot of some of their responses…
The Year 13s should have held their end of course Visual Arts exhibition over the last two weeks. Of course, we have had to cancel the show and the students have felt a real sense of anti-climax as their IB Art journey is now over.
So, here is a different kind of exhibition for us to reflect on their Visual Arts journey and give Year 13 the sense of achievement and celebration that they so deserve!! The video is only a 1:45 snapshot, but it means a lot to them to know that they have been seen and heard!
Art Murmurs- Colouring for Calm
Term 1 has been a busy time for the student-led design team, Art Murmurs. We started the year by appointing Gian Lee, Year 11 as our new Manager; a role in which she has excelled! Gian supervised live design briefs including the logo for the Dulwich Chingus and illustrated “Happy Holidays” notes for the IB Candy Cane Drive. However, it is the Colouring Book project that really captured the imagination of our team of designers. Following the theme You’re Not Alone, the team created a series of intricate illustrations that were digitised into a Colouring Book to be available to students when they’re feeling overwhelmed or “a bit lost”. The first page of the book also explains the positive effects colouring can have on our wellbeing, for example, it reduces our mental chatter enabling us to feel more present and find clarity. Each teacher will be given a copy of the Colouring Book and sent a digital version to use as they wish and several copies will be kept in the Counsellors’ Rooms.
Colour yourself calm!
On hearing about the “Zero Waste” focus of this year’s Founders Day, the Year 9 students spent this term researching, investigating and creating bio-degradable sculptures with a scientific twist. The students were presented with a live design brief- to create a sculptural outcome that informs or raises awareness about one of the UN Sustainability goals that correspond to our new Dulwich Sustainability Goals. Faced with a number of constraints, everyone quickly became enthused and focused. To ensure the sculptures were structurally sound, aesthetically striking and supported by sound theory, the project was completed during both Art and Science lessons. Working in teams, students assigned themselves into roles of responsibility to not only complete the task, but to excel.
Kris, one of the group leaders was very proud and impressed by the effort and focus of his group. “Because issues regarding our world such as global warming and endangered animals have become so significant, I believe raising awareness to the public is definitely needed and doing this through making our own inventions and creating them with decomposable material was an amazing proposal. Being the group leader was not easy, but it was enjoyable. After we decided our roles, everyone started with real confidence and commitment.”
Juna, another group leader added, “Thanks to the Art and Science project we were able to learn very useful life skills such as much need collaboration. Due to having two large groups and the effort required to complete the task, everyone had to invest our energy and thought into making the project successful. I felt that the team led itself, rather than me being the sole conductor. It was my first time leading a group of such numbers, but thanks to everyone’s efforts I felt in control and relaxed.”
The outcomes more than met the brief and Bea was clearly impressed with the level of knowledge and innovation demonstrated throughout the project.
Our animators of the future had the privilege of meeting ‘Tonko House’ animator, Robert Kondo on Monday. During his visit, a lucky group of Senior School artists were involved in a fascinating and inspiring ‘question and answer’ session. The ex-Pixar artist spoke of his impressive portfolio working on films such as Monsters University and Ratatouille, as well his Academy Award nominated film with ‘Tonko House,’ The Dam Keeper. Our students gained valuable insight into the processes and demands of working as an animation artist and were undoubtedly inspired by his creative journey.
Jet lag gave way to excitement, fun and creativity for our six travelling artists last month at the 400 Year Olympiad hosted by Dulwich College London. After an exhausting journey to the UK, our artists (along with the rest of the DCSL team), dived straight into the very best of London’s Art and Cultural scene with a tour starting at the National Gallery, heading through Southbank and ending at the Tate Modern. On arriving at Dulwich College London, the artists were amazed by the impressive architecture of the college itself. They were quickly put to work during an “Art Hijack,” in which fortune cookies revealed a hidden drawing task to complete on a postcard. These then became part of a large installation displayed in one of the historic halls. The majority of the artists’ time was spent in their workshops in which they worked alongside professional artists including puppet maker, Sian Kidd and ceramicist, Sarah Christie. Possibly the most impressive qualities demonstrated by our artists during this time wasn’t necessarily their creative competence or innovation, but their confidence, humour and compassion. All six students fully embraced every opportunity to work with adults and other students that they had only just met, clearly having a great time in the process. We even managed to squeeze in another trip to Southbank to visit the Hayward Gallery and spend time with the art students from DCB. One student in particular demonstrated enormous amounts of courage and composure, when she took to the stage at the closing ceremony. Speaking in both Korean and English, Suan bravely made a speech about her Art experiences in front of the other colleges in the spectacular Great Hall. The trip was a truly memorable experience that I’m sure has impacted our creative and international perspectives.
Thank you and well done, to our six international artists…
Suan Kim, Julia Koo, Clarise Jang, Ally Lee, Ina Lee and Ashley Na