Many of our Year 6 students have been at Oakleigh since Prep – walking past the same buildings, gardens, playgrounds for years. The project 'Oakleigh Objects' encouraged these students, in the last months of their primary schooling to 'notice' their school in new ways.
We know our place, our school, very well but perhaps we do not really look at our place in the busyness of our days.
The project started with students discussing the artwork of the Impressionists, Pop artists and abstract artists. They learned how an everyday thing or scene can be abstracted, prompting the viewer to look at the object in a different way.
The students then went looking – really looking – and exploring our school from different viewpoints. The front steps to the Year 6 building, finding shapes and lines in the playground, looking up at the big old building from a different perspective were starting points for many.
Students sifted through an abundance of photos back in the art room to find interesting compositions and pleasing images in cleverly disguised every-day scenes.
Working with an unusually long format, compositions were developed with abstract and Impressionist techniques in mind. Students were also required to design within a fixed colour scheme. Mixing of colours was discouraged to keep clarity of colour and unity in the work.
Watching the students bring their designs to realisation in a riot of vibrant colour, diverse collections of shapes and shimmering details was a delight! The project, although complex in its concept, challenged students to simplify and be bold.
The art works along the Ashbourne Street fence are a tribute to this experience.
Sincere thanks to Stephen Hobson for his indispensable support and advice in the project's development and realisation.
Immense thanks to the Oakleigh P&C for funding the project and for their ongoing support of the arts at Oakleigh.