Activities Week Reflections from the Art Department

Jewellery Making Camp

Activities Week is a creative, technical, and exciting program to broaden Woodleigh students' horizons. I spent my camp week making jewellery. I was able to work on refining fiddly and specific skills to improve an end product of a patterned bangle, key chain, pewter casting, and maker’s mark stamp. I learned to weld a ring after many attempted prototypes. The pieces were well made and will symbolize a sense of growth, achievement, and persistence for future years. I am excited to explore more about the art of jewellery-making and continue my skills.

Year 9

Textiles and Fashion Camp

During the Textiles and Fashion camp, we explored natural dyeing techniques, overlocking, sewing, cutting, and reading from a pattern. The first two days of exploration, we trialled disperse dyes, painting designs onto paper, placing the paper on plain synthetic fabric and ironing to transfer the design. Throughout this process, we also explored different dyeing techniques from natural substances such as vegetables, coffee, and spices. Once we had familiarised ourselves with our fabrics, we then chose a pattern to construct a garment.

We documented our creative process by writing in a journal and putting samples in our book and explaining each process of how and what we did.

Seeing the other school-based art Activities Week camps going on in each studio was motivating. Seeing everyone collaborating and learning had us into a little tight-knit community. We all pulled ideas from each other into our respective activities. A communal fire pit was lit each morning and kept stoked throughout the day. It became a favourite place to go to each day. There were potatoes put on the fire each day for everyone to enjoy over lunch which was appreciated by everyone. We were welcomed each day with enthusiasm, a willingness to create, explore and learn from people who were more experienced in their art. They would encourage us, let us create and experiment with our art, and pushed us to go beyond our 'creative comfort zone' by making something we weren’t familiar with.

On the final day of Activities Week, everyone had finished making their art pieces. We dressed up mannequins with our garments and displayed their final constructions in the gallery. With spotlights shining on our work, it made everyone acknowledge and recognise their work. Everyone loved having their work on display for all to see. We got to share what we had done and got to see each student’s different style and 'flairs' they put into their work.

Year 10

Street Art and Mural Camp

Last week I participated in the first Street Art and Mural Camp at Woodleigh. It was epic.

Ms Cleine and Ms Pitcher arranged for guest artists to work with us for the week. Their names were Abbey Rich and Olana Janfa. Olana and Abbey have previously worked on murals for communities and big brands such as Nike and Frankston's Big Picture Fest. They showed us some of their artwork, and walked us through the process they follow when they create public art.

Our main task for the week was to work to a design brief. The brief describes the thing you have been asked to create. Our brief was to create a mural for the STEAM room wall. After we all spent a day or so brainstorming and sketching, Abbey and Olana worked to combine our individual contributions into one big design, which we then transferred on to the wall and painted as a team.

For inspiration, we also got to visit some of the world-class street art in Frankston. Although Ms Pitcher accidentally booked us into a vegan cafe for lunch, we took a risk and ate outside of our comfort zones. I told her my lentil burger was 'magnificent' because I didn't want her to feel too bad.

Our finished STEAM piece looks fantastic. I would highly recommend this camp to anyone interested in making art that lives outside of gallery walls.

Year 10