The current exhibition featured in the Pat Bourke Gallery has a focus on the use of bold colour and line from students from the Year 8 2D Art Colour Explosion subject, and some playing and manipulation of light and form from Year 10 students in Photography.

Year 8 students created vibrant still life artworks, drawing directly from observation of a composition of bottles, books and plants on their tables. The students were tasked with using a limited colour palette of analogous colours which challenged them to recreate the tone and shape of the objects in a monochromatic composition. Inspiration was taken from artists such as David Hockney and Margaret Preston, whose still life works demonstrate an exaggerated and bold expression of colour while staying true to the form of objects.

Students also had the opportunity to further develop these skills of colour application in their Impressionist landscape paintings. Choosing one of their own photographs of a landscape or one that they had found during their research, students drew the landscape on canvas and painted them using acrylic paints. With access to a variety of brushes, students were able to recreate the Impressionist style using stippling, scratching, dabbing and blending brush techniques. By layering many tones of colours, the illusion of light, dark, depth and form was created.

Some Year 8 students had the opportunity to experiment with lino cutting, a printmaking technique where students carve out their design on a piece of linoleum, which is then inked with a rubber brayer and pressed onto paper. This particular art form lends itself to the element of line to create shape, contrast and at times, the illusion of tone. The concept behind their designs was to portray a message of social justice through visual imagery only. Many prints were made from the same lino plate, printed on various papers to get different effects which were then turned into artists folding books. Some books have been hung from the ceiling, cascading down while others lay flat or fold-out sideways.

Year 10 Photography students went on an excursion to the Geelong Botanic Gardens for a chance to use analogue cameras. Students were encouraged to think about how best to utilise black and white photography to emphasise contrast and tone in their images, while adopting different composition styles in an outdoor setting. The use of focus, aperture, shutter speed and ISO are important considerations when using a film camera manually. The negatives were developed collaboratively in class and students worked in the darkroom to develop a final image of their choice from their negatives.

The digital aspect of the Year 10 Photography class looked at the manipulation of light and how to capture that in an image. Students were to consider the use of lighting and props to create shadowing or emphasise light, while also factoring in the time of day, placement of the camera and compositional techniques.

The Pat Bourke Gallery is open for visitors during school reception hours. For questions about the exhibition, please email Laura Martin at [email protected]