We continued to search for ways to depict the landscape. We started by looking at the very inner landscape – the part of the landscape that is there but we can’t see in a normal situation. We studied pictures of microscopic sections of different trees and plants, showing their cells and their vascular system. Students created designs with crayons and lift prints from these fascinating pictures of the “inner landscape”.
Then we studied the work of contemporary indigenous artist Sally Gabori. Everybody liked the story of Sally and the rock pools/ fish traps from Bentinck Island in Cape York where she draws inspiration for her paintings. Sally Gabori was the inspiration for the paintings of rock pools the students produced.
Our third project was a departure from the landscape to the work of two artist friends – Joan Miro and Alexander Calder.
The idea for this project came to me in Sydney when I watched a Television program on the two artists and from a catalogue I found of an exhibition of the two artists called “Miro Calder” at the Gallerie Beyeler in 1973.
We studied the paintings of Miro and the sculptures of Calder. Miro and his “magical surrealism” I thought, was the perfect artist to inspire the students to create paintings involving floating abstract shapes and objects from their imagination. The result was amazing, students from prep year to year 11 created cosmic paintings full of rich colour and heavy black outline.
The Calder part of the project consisted in a self supporting static, abstract sculpture, a stabile, created with colourful material plus, soft wire to create the mobiles with clusters of hanging shapes. The results again were stunning, all the students from prep age to grade 11 age created beautiful art work that combined the stabiles and mobiles from Calder and the surrealist paintings of Miro.