29 September 2022
As a school, we seek to ensure our ongoing relevancy and innovation by nurturing a dynamic learning community; both within and beyond the school gate. We are all about exploring potential. It is exploration that brings education to life.
At Pembroke School we have over 40 years of experience working with visiting artists in the Arts, and we are also embracing other creatives from across all industries to engage with students in interdisciplinary projects.
The annual Middle School Art Show reflects the work that the Art teachers have pursued with their classes. In addition to this it features as the central installation the creative work undertaken by our students engaged in the 2022 Tone Process Interdisciplinary Project led by Resident Creative, Dave Court (www.davecourt.art/about), a multidisciplinary contemporary artist. Dave collaborated with Year 8 and 9 Visual Art students, Year 10 Digital Technology students and their teachers, and the results are stunning!
The Tone Process Interdisciplinary Project (May – June 2022) involved students in abstract image making and drawing, abstract painting techniques, large-scale painting, jumpsuit/costume painting, creating a light projection installation using the Touchdesigner software, and finally the photography in bringing them all together.
Often in schools things can end up being didactic, but it is possible to evolve from the directed to the self-directed. When asked how he saw this happen during the life of the Tone Process Project, Resident Artist Dave Court said...
“I tried to make it a feature of the project in all parts to leave a lot of freedom for students to self-direct within parameters, whether this was colour palettes, tools available or image making processes at different times. With the art classes it was a fairly fast paced project throughout, to address a range of processes through the term and then bring everything together in the final week - abstract image making and drawing, abstract painting techniques, large scale painting, jumpsuit/costume painting and then photography bringing them all together.
With the digital class it was a lot more of a direct imparting of technical skills, teaching the class the basics of using visual programming software Touchdesigner. This kind of learning curve was a bit of a hump to get over, but once we got there it provided room for self-direction and experimentation, a new toolkit to make things in new ways. Throughout this learning process I tried to leave room to self-direct as well, demonstrating small elements of the program and then encouraging experimentation with each new tool to get a feel for these new ways of working.” Dave Court
Ms Ella Camporeale, Assistant Head of Design and Technology and the participating Digital Design teacher said, “In working with Dave, the Year 10 Digital Design students developed skills in TouchDesigner software to produce immersive and interactive projection art. Dave was able to transfer his knowledge and experience in using contemporary technologies such as computer-generated modelling, Augmented Reality and projection mapping through conducting a range of workshops with the class. The students conducted research into and sought inspiration from local and international immersive artists like those recently exhibiting at Illuminate Adelaide, such as Istanbul based, Ouchhh Studio. The Year 10s generated their own programs using mathematical, sound, camera and touch inputs, also developing techniques in projection mapping used in the process of creating an immersive installation, overlaying the art works from Years 8 and 9 Visual Art classes."
Dave found the project a challenge, but also rewarding to be working with such a large group of people with much to juggle. He appreciated the unique perspectives and styles brought to the table and was keen to encourage this through the painting project, setting certain parameters but allowing a lot of freedom for students to choose what imagery, styles or ideas they wanted to bring to the collaborative project. Dave cast himself in the role of learner as well as that of expert. He ensured the students were exposed to lots of intrinsic and implicit learning moments, play and plenty of interaction, trialling, experimenting, and sharing. Work between departments across 16 days spread throughout 8 weeks and creating opportunities for classes at three year levels was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all involved.
Thus, once again, our collaboration with a resident creative from industry provided a wonderful opportunity to our students and staff. We are grateful to Dave Court for the generous and unique contribution to our program and to our teachers, Michael Ferrier, Ella Camporeale and Penny Cowell for their willingness to connect with the wider community and collaborate in this exploration.
Howard (Mac) MacPherson
Coordinator of Enterprise for the Pembroke Academy