A year of hard work by Year 12 Design and Art students has come to fruition with the presentation of their major works at the HSC exhibition from 30 July through to 2 August and the IB Diploma Visual Arts exhibition from 2 – 13 August.
HSC students studying Design and Technology (DT), Visual Arts (VA), Textiles, and Information and Software Technology (IST) are finalising their mammoth projects this week. Each subject requires students to complete a substantial body of work, drawing on the skills and concepts learnt throughout Years 11 and 12. We spoke to three students about their major works.
Visual Arts – Stella Sciberras
In Visual Arts, students complete a body of work, creating an artwork in a certain form, that represents their technical and conceptual skill.
For Year 12 VA student Stella Sciberras, the creative outlet of a Visual Arts body of work was a welcome relief from her other subjects. She is creating a film based on her childhood experiences.
“I grew up in the country in a really rural town so I had a lot of interaction with nature,” she says. “I’m exploring the ways that the industrialisation of the cityscape affects a person’s psyche. It really affected me, when I moved from the country to the city and back again. I’m looking at the sensory ideas about that.”
Filming and editing has been a long process, she says, but the development of her idea took even longer. VA students begin to develop their ideas in Term 4 of Year 11, their first term studying the Year 12 syllabus. In this stage, students generate ideas and experiment with form. Stella sat down with her teacher, Ms Bronywn Zucker, and looked at her past work, and recognised the impact that her childhood had on her current expression.
She struggled to find any ideas at the beginning, she says, “because I had really high expectations for my major work, thinking, ‘this is Year 12, it has to be the best thing I’ve ever done!’ I wanted the best idea first, rather than sifting through everything and thinking about it.”
Design and Technology – Ruben Wall
The Design and Technology major work requires students to identify a genuine need in any aspect of society, and use their skills gained over the years to come up with a solution to the issue.
When a friend discussed the idea of a park bench that flips around after rain to provide a dry seat, Year 12 DT student Ruben Wall knew it was an idea for a major work.
He discussed the idea with his teacher, Mr Krystian Bacewicz, and they developed several prototypes of his bench.
“I did some sketching and got a rough idea of something that might work,” he says. “You do a prototype – a really small scale model – of something that might work. The first ones I did were out of cardboard.”
Ruben spoke with a mentor – a professional in the design field – about his design, who pointed out several issues, allowing him to improve his design. “Over my life I’ve just liked building things and putting stuff together,” Ruben says, citing his love for DT. “I did woodwork and engineering in Year 9 and I loved them. This was sort of in between, and it just made sense to do it. I’m pretty glad.”
He has advice for students doing major works in Year 12: “Stay on top of the work.”
“It does mean a lot to do a bit as you go. I just felt like I couldn’t be bothered to get it done. But once you start doing it, it makes the whole process so much better.”
Textiles – Domica Thomas
The lessons come quickly in the Textiles major project: “I’ve learnt to be really patient,” reflects Year 12 student Domica Thomas, who is creating a 1970s California-inspired silk crop top and flared pants.
“It was challenging. I find the construction hard, especially with sewing,” she admits. “If you stuff up one part, you can stuff up the whole thing.
“Every single person has stuffed up and I have done it countless times.”
Domica’s top includes laser-cut flowers and screen-printed patterns.
“I laser cut the flowers out on the silk. I silk painted and then I used screen-printing with gold gutta to make outlines of the flowers. There are a lot of techniques I’ve had to use. In the ’70s, screen printing was really popular,” she says.
However, she’s not sure she will be wearing it herself too often. “But I will try it on – I’ll definitely be wearing it once I am done!”
She’s impressed at what can be achieved in a few months: “I’m really happy with it. It’s very trial and error. There were probably about four things I made before this one,” she says. “I enjoyed making the top because it’s very creative.”
Domica is learning lessons that will help her take steps towards a career in textiles. She intends to study fashion design at university. “It’s always been my favourite subject. It’s definitely formed my ideas about what I want to do in the future,” she says.
– Anthony Segaert
The HSC Design and Art Exhibition – 30 July to 2 August in the MC Newth Auditorium, Bishop Barry Centre (51 Druitt Street, Sydney).
The IB Diploma Programme Visual Arts Exhibition – 2-13 August at the Gaffa art gallery – 281 Clarence Street, Sydney. The work of the following students is featured: Alex Bean, Emily Borrud, Kayla Carr, Paris Condon, Aless Dehn, Toni Dou, Jackie Gazal, Tess Hallion, Jess Jenner, Maurice Monster, Marissa Payne, Inez Roggem, Rosie Wills.