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Pembroke’s new Resident Creatives Program welcomes Mr James (Jimmy) Dodd to the Middle School.

22 July 2021

Building on the highly successful and long-standing Artist in Residence Program, Jimmy is working closely with Middle School students in the new Resident Creatives Program.

Embracing creatives from across all industries, the Resident Creatives Program encourages innovation, integration of subjects, and exploration of potential. With our Middle School students, the inaugural Resident Creative, Jimmy Dodd, is integrating art with robotics, design, and technology to create kinetic art, a form of art that incorporates motion and movement to create effect.

In exploring ways to create art, our Year 8-10 students are creating a Robot Garden – a plethora of moving parts and interconnected pieces that are bursting with life and colour. Through the Robot Garden installation, students are exploring how machines and robotics can be involved in a visual art activity, and how to create movement in sculpture. This sense of exploration has carried through from the original Artist in Residence Program.

Pem­broke has long sus­tained an Artists in Res­i­dence Pro­gram. We have enjoyed work­ing with local artists and poets, play­wrights, film-mak­ers, and oth­ers. Our Res­i­dent Cre­atives Pro­gram expands on this.

Howard (Mac) MacPherson, Coordinator of Enterprise

The new Resident Creatives Program involves inviting old scholars and others across all professional and industry groups to share their knowledge, innovative ideas, and wisdom. Allowing students to push their boundaries and explore potential in new technologies, the program ensures a dynamic learning community, both within and beyond the school gates.

At the heart of all good edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams is the man­date for stu­dents to expe­ri­ence the unfa­mil­iar – to be explorers.

Luke Thomson, Principal

In creating the Robot Garden, the students are viewing a range of technologies in a way that is closer to the arts and general wonder, and have identified the parallel between nature and machines in the Robot Garden. With a structure that invites hundreds of smaller components to form an integrated and interconnected whole, the Robot Garden also highlights the solar powered elements that bring small (robotic) creatures to life.

Following designs produced by art students, which include everything from small creatures to large trees, the technology students incorporate robotics and science to create movement within the structures, whether through solar and wind power, or levers and gears. The robotic creatures that inhabit the garden are the result of the synergy between the Science students and their peers in Art classes. Science teachers created a Biomimicry SHE task to research a wide range of weird and wonderful natural creatures and then put these forward to the Art students to explore and be inspired by the idea of biomimicry in their robot creature designs. This collaboration is manifest in marvellous monsters.

With over 40 unique learning spaces dedicated to art, technology and science, Pembroke’s stunning three-storey Shipsters Building is the perfect site for the interdisciplinary Robot Garden project. Based in our Balnaves Enterprise Space, Jimmy is inspiring our students through working in the classroom directly.

The Robot Garden installation will form the centrepiece of the 2021 Middle School Exhibition which launches on Thursday 26 August.