Published on: 1 March 2013

Years 11 and 12 visual art students learned firsthand from university staff, lecturers and artists recently at a two-day camp held at Curtin University’s School of Art and Design. Art teacher Gisela Züchner-Mogall said the annual art camp was an integral part of the Years 11 and 12 2AB and 3AB Art courses.

Ms Züchner-Mogall said Curtin provided first-class tuition for the boys with practical workshops as well as an art history session. The camp began with a viewing of award winning Italian artist Grazia Toderi’s exhibition, which was on show in the John Curtin Gallery as part of the Perth Festival. After viewing the intriguing exhibition, suspending the viewer between the wonder of luminous nightscapes and star-filled vistas, the boys discussed their favourite works with artist and lecturer Mark Parfitt.

Under the guidance of Curtin’s Head of Art Nicole Slatter the boys then examined how artists scrutinise the facts and fictions of the world through the manipulation of motif and imagery using acrylic paint. The afternoon was dedicated to life drawing where Nicole’s expertise helped the boys create dynamic compositions using charcoal and ink.

On the second day, Curtin’s Simon Blond gave an illustrated lecture on recent developments in Modernism, Post-Modernism and Meta-Modernism before working through image analysis with a social/political commentary themed discussion. This was followed by a printmaking workshop with senior lecturer and artist Susanna Castelden with an emphasis on how the incident in printmaking can be used to communicate meaning.

Finally, sculptor Mark Parfitt explained through his own works the process of how an initial idea eventually became a resolved artwork. He also discussed socio and political implications of body art. The theme ‘Body Encrypted’ provided a well-received challenge with boys sculpting parts of their body using plaster bandages, alginate mold making and wax to explore narrative and meaning.