Year 9 Art

Art for many is a way of conveying popular cultures around the world, mishaps or events that have happened in history, or a way of speaking of the artist’s beliefs that they want to show through things placed in galleries or sold in an auction house. But for me, art is a way to reflect on my wellbeing and life events - to vent, to identify who I am in my pieces of work.

During the year of 2019, Year 9 students were able to delve into the topic of Surrealism, which is the illusion of dreamlike scenery that artists such as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and Vladimir Kush have been known for in their paintings. A famous example of this is the piece The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali, which is a scene of (what can be described as) liquified or melting clocks in a desert. Very basically, Surrealism is placing things where they wouldn’t normally be.

During the time in class, students were able to dig deeper into Surrealism, and even make their own pieces themselves! How this played out was students played a game of Exquisite Corpse, where in groups, each person came up with an adjective, next a noun, a verb and then another adjective and finally, another noun. They would play this game three times and were allowed to choose which idea seemed most appealing to them. In the end, they’d turn their ideas on to paper to beautiful Surrealistic art.

The next topic students were asked to do was an art project called the Artist’s Birthday Task. In this project, students were to research a fairly unlucky artist, for example: Jackson Pollock, Chuck Close or Frida Kahlo. Students were to design gift tags, a gift box and create gifts using everyday items and their imaginations. These gifts would be things that the specific artist didn’t have in life: the ability to have children, to get over an addiction, or things that reminded them of their childhood. We learned not only about the life, interests, culture and art style of our artists, but we also learned about empathy, we created new inventions, we practiced thinking creatively, we problem solved and learned how to work better in a group.

The art students of Year 9 also went on an excursion around Melbourne, visiting the National Gallery of Victoria to look at different forms of Surrealism, and other exhibitions and artworks on display. We took photos of the city around us and worked on our skills of taking excellent photos, to capture life in the city as it is in the moment, and to experiment with photographic methods.

Art as an elective has been fun for the Year 9s, and hopefully more students choose to carry on with the subject in the future. Art gives you the chance to have fun and wind down from an exhausting day, and it even opens our eyes even bigger to look at the world around us at a different angle.

Mia Richards
Year 9 Student