Pushing the boundaries

sara-catena-workshop-1We’re just days away from Splash and the excitement is mounting. Aside from the three-day art show, Splash has driven other artistic activities within the school. This week, Claire Bowers from the Splash organising committee tells us about artist Sara Catena’s second visit with grade fives.

sara-catena-workshop-6You may remember that a couple of months ago, Melbourne artist Sara Catena – one of the many artists who will be featured in Splash – ran an inspirational workshop with some of our Grade 5 students. Before the end of term she came back to see how the students had got on with their artwork and to challenge them with some new pieces.

Sara was blown away by the masterpieces that had been created since her last visit. She was impressed by how the students had taken inspiration from her own very
distinctive approach to art; using words as a starting point and then building layers of imagery using different textiles and textures as well as paint.

“I love the way that the students have pushed the boundaries, experimenting with different fabrics and materials, from layering tissue paper and felt to using bubble wrap in original ways,” she said. “All of their canvases are unique and the students have taken on an ‘anything goes’ approach which is fantastically liberating.”

Art teacher Kerry Lomas was equally impressed by the students’ work and she
herself has been inspired to work on a piece at home, using felt on canvas.

sara-catena-workshop-3In this second workshop, Sara challenged the students to create works of art using wax candles on canvas to sketch a still life of fruit and vegetables after which they applied an oil pastel wash so that the image ‘appeared’. The challenge lay in
sketching what was initially invisible and in being confident that it would work. Sara’s advice was to “let yourself go and give yourself the freedom to do what you want. There is no such thing as perfection.” The results were a stunning array of vibrant, colourful artworks that would do any art gallery proud. Student Delphine, who
produced a striking artwork of a fennel bulb using vivid blues and hot yellows, said, “I found myself through doing this.” This sums up how emotionally engaged and
inspired the students were by Sara’s expert advice and encouragement.

sara-catena-workshop-2We hope that all visitors to Splash, taking place in only a few days from now, will be equally inspired by the works of Sara and all the other diverse artists who will be
displaying and selling their works here at Kew Primary School.

Thank you to Bethanie at Pink Images for the photographs.


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