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Artistic Exploration @ Kolbe and beyond

Verena Smallman (Head of Visual & Media Arts)

Last week was about fostering artistic appreciation and skill development, with two events for our senior students in the Art department. Year 12 art students visited our West Australian Art Gallery, viewing the Pulse exhibition which exhibits artworks from some of WA’s 2022 Year 12 students who have explored an inspiring, rewarding and insightful look at the world through their eyes, and our Year 11 students were privileged to work with oil painting artist, Vanessa Liebenberg, building their painting skills and techniques.

The art gallery excursion provided an opportunity for Year 12 art students to view and connect with artworks dealing with similar themes and issues affecting today’s teenagers. Led by gallery tour guides, the students eagerly explored the various exhibitions, encountering a diverse range of artworks spanning different genres and mediums, offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of human creativity. The students were encouraged to analyse the artworks critically, paying close attention to technique, symbolism, and the artist’s intended message. Engaging in lively discussions, they shared their interpretations and gained valuable insights with their peers. Students also visited the Youth Lester Prize, located at the WA Museum, which includes one of our very own Kolbe students. Georgia, Year 12, was able to walk around the exhibition and show the art students her artwork, which allowed them to share in her amazing experience. The excursion sparked their imagination, stimulating their own artistic endeavours and expanding their creative horizons.

The following day, our Year 11 art students were given the opportunity to work with oil painting artist Vanessa Liebenberg, who graced the school with her expertise during an inspiring art incursion. Vanessa Liebenberg, known for her captivating use of colour and evocative brushwork, shared her expertise and passion for oil painting with the students. During the incursion, Vanessa demonstrated her techniques, providing valuable insights into the world of oil painting. Our best work comes from a person or place we are connected to, which drove our decision to use our very own principal, Mr Alweyn, as the subject of our skill based workshop, guiding the students through the process of creating their own oil paintings. Vanessa’s enthusiasm and encouragement instilled a newfound confidence in the students. She emphasised the importance of perseverance and self-expression, urging them to embrace their unique artistic voice. As the students delved into their work, they experienced the meditative quality of oil painting, immersing themselves in the creative process.

The excursion to the art gallery and the art incursion with Vanessa Liebenberg were two extraordinary events that left a lasting impact on the students’ artistic journey. These events served as catalysts for personal and artistic growth, inspiring the students to approach their future artistic endeavours with renewed passion and a broader perspective.

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