Each Year QACI hosts The Big Day In for Visual Art students
in Year 11 and 12. This day brings together students and practising
artists. Having the opportunity to sit down with these artists is
a fantastic way to learn about their art practice, life experience and
various art making techniques. Throughout the day the artists present aoubt their experience and practice as an artist, then facilitate
a workshop teaching hands-on skills in different mediums.
For this year’s Big Day In, I had the opportunity to participate
in the workshop held by Damien Kamholtz. Kamholtz is an artist who has spent
the last few years living in Kakadu and Arnum Land learning about
traditional techniques from the aboriginal communities. Because of his connections
and education within the aboriginal communities, Damien was able to provide us
with traditional Ochre rocks for us to make our own paint with. The process of
making our own materials from scratch was an opportunity none of us had experienced before. We found the process of making the paint, and then using it for our own
artworks to be very freeing and exciting.
Each artist’s workshop used different mediums. Anita
Hochman’s workshop experimented with holographic paints on landscapes. Dave
Machin works with metal armatures shaped with newspaper, and plaster. Other
workshops worked with natural materials through weaving and sculpture making,
or predominantly inks, charcoals and oil pastels.
With each artist working in different materials, the
outcomes were each vastly different, yet beautiful in their own right. Every
student who participated came out with at least one artwork well on its way to
becoming a finalised product.
Being able to work closely with artists in such a focused
environment gives us an experience that greatly enhances our knowledge within
visual art. With the unique materials and the additional insight, not taught in books, they gave us the opportunity as student artists to create things and experiment with new materials and methods, we otherwise would not have known.
...article written by Acacia Calder, Year 12