I am highly trained to teach Art to secondary students as I worked as an Art Teacher for 7 years at Billanook College in the outer East of Melbourne. During this time I gained a wealth of art related skills, processes and knowledge. I taught a broad range of arts related subjects such as Photography, Textiles, Painting and Drawing, Sculpture, Ceramics, Visual Communication, Wood Technology, Computer Graphics and VCE Art.
Featured below are art projects I led that were mostly outside the day-to-day arts curriculum to show innovative ways that I was able to involve students in the Visual Art at Billanook College.
Birds Eye of Billanook 2005
This mural was created for Activities Week at the end of the school year at Billanook College in 2005. This collaborative artwork documented the built and natural environment of the college and was made to help the school celebrate its 25th birthday after it was founded in 1980.
60 Year 7 and 8 students participated in the painting of this mural over the week. The mural project was led by Art Teacher Jodie Goldring who was supported by Art Teacher Gaye Sutherland.
Students painting the Birds Eye of Billanook with acrylic paint.
Students painting the Birds Eye of Billanook with acrylic paint continued…
Students painting the Birds Eye of Billanook with acrylic paint continued…
The planning documents and incomplete mural that demonstrate the creation process used to create the collaborative artwork.
The complete mural entitled the Birds Eye of Billanook.
Details of the complete mural the Birds Eye of Billanook.
Details of the complete mural the Birds Eye of Billanook continued…
Enviro Aelia 2006
Please read the essay below that was featured in Art Education Victoria’s magazine called ARTicle in 2007. It outlines the creation of Enviro Aelia a public sculpture created by Year 7 students at Billanook College in 2006.
‘I have walked past Enviro Aelia and seen students interacting with it. When students spin the bottles the patterns blur and the sculpture makes a sound.’ Colleague from Billanook College
Year 7 students at Billanook College, Enviro Aelia, steel and recycled plastic drink bottles, 3m high x 1.5m wide, 2006.
Year 7 volunteers from from Billanook College who helped to plan and create Enviro Aelia.
Recycled drink bottles collected and washed by Year 7 volunteers and their friends.
Year 7 students painting the bottles during Activities week at the end of 2006.
The stringing of decorated bottles onto Enviro Aelia on a summers day at the end of 2006.
Enviro Aelia revamped in 2011
Enviro Aelia was renovated in 2011 because after five years outdoors the paint started to peel off the recycled bottles, so it needed a facelift. The maintenance team helped Ralph Driesson take the metal frame to his studio to make improvements to the frame. Ralph was a parent of two students at Billanook College and a sculptor who made metal sculptures for sale and exhibition so he was keen to help the school.
In Art two Year 7 classes worked hard to create sculptural objects to string onto the metal skeleton. They started by researching organic and geometric shapes and then drew some of their own designs. The students created a ceramic sculpture out of terracotta clay, which was later embellished by sponging on oxide to highlight textural qualities of the sculptures. Some fantastic ceramic artworks were made such as hamburgers, tears, cupcakes, abstract blobs and flowers. These ceramics artworks were the last things to be attached to the top of the metal rods once the sculpture was installed.
A small group of enthusiastic Year 7’s were selected to work with Mr Driesson in the metal room to create a copper repousee form each. Repousee is a French term, which refers to a technique of beating copper carefully to create different shapes. The students made two similar shapes from sheet copper metal and then they were riveted together to finish. The students demonstrated patience and tenacity in their work as this technique involved a time consuming process that cannot be rushed.
The students then spent many weeks creating polystyrene sculptures, covered with gauze, Paverpol (a product a bit like PVA glue but that makes objects suitable to be outdoors) and then painted the sculptures with colours and patterns. The students referred to their designs but were also inspired by unexpected shapes that emerged during the creation process when making a number of polystyrene sculptures. Once the students had created these foundation shapes the painting of Pavelpol over the gauze was time consuming and fiddly but students displayed patience and developed skills during this part of the process.
It was at this stage that teacher Jodie Goldring realised that recycled drink bottle may need to be used to supplement the sculptures. So posters were made requesting the whole school to support the project by collecting drink bottles.
To bring all the smaller sculptures together onto the large frame was a huge task undertaken by 5 Year 7 students and Ms Goldring over a Community Service day in late 2011. Year 7 volunteers worked well as a team from 9-3pm over one long hot summer’s day to thread on 84 shapes and 84 bottles onto the frame. The result is a wonderful and zany sculpture that was installed back in its former site over the school holidays early 2012.
Year 7 students at Billanook College, Revamped Enviro Aelia, steel, recycled plastic drink bottles, polystyrene, Paverpol, cotton gauze, copper & ceramic, 3m high x 1.5m wide, 2011.
Painting of sculptures made of Paverpol and cotton gauze covered polystyrene forms.
The individual painted sculptures and bottles on racks drying…
The stringing of decorated sculptures and bottles onto Revamped Enviro Aelia on another hot summers day at the end of 2011.
Community Service 2008
With this project 70 students created 70 concertina booklets as gifts for the elderly when they visit for afternoon tea in December for Middle School Community Service Week. Young artists presented these unique and well crafted gifts to the elderly to make the gift meaningful and personalized.
Door to the Future 2011
Vision of the Future is an inspiring, if somewhat challenging, vision of what the future of an Australian city could look like. The project started with two very creative and enthusiastic Middle School Art Captains from Billanook College who wanted to initiate a mural project to adorn the Year 9 Centrespace in 2011. The Art Captains ran a mural design competition in Term 3 that featured the caption “Doorway to Where” as a way to fire Year 9 students imagination to depict a doorway into another world or place.
Mitch was a clear winner of this competition as he had been working hard on a self directed project of multiple drawings that explored fantasy worlds. A small group of Year 9 volunteers met in the Art Department every Tuesday lunchtime during Term 4 to create the mural. They were initially daunted with the complexity of the design but were advised it was possible by Ms Goldring. The design was projected onto the two tall doors and students traced the main design on using lead pencil. The black lines were then created using a variety of fine-liners and permanent markers. Once this was done the colour was added and the mural really came alive! The mural was finished during Politics Week where students carefully touched up all details and the background was painted using small paint rollers. Lastly 3 coats of clear varnish were painted on to protect the mural in the coming years. The result is a legacy by the Year 9 cohort of 2011 to Year 9’s in the coming years.
Year 9 Art Captains and volunteers (including Mitch Harrison the designer), Doorway to the Future, doors and acrylic paint, approximately 6m high x 1.5 metres wide, 2011
Detail of Doorway to the Future, 2011…
I taught VCE Art for four years at Billanook College and during this time 2 of my Art students exhibited their work in Top Arts.
Charlotte Booth in 2009
Phoebe Kramer in 2012