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In November we welcomed Amy Joy Watson as our 2020 Artist in Residence in the Junior School.

Amy is a renowned Australian artist, residing in Adelaide and students were grateful for the opportunity to learn from her expertise and share their art making with her.

Amy’s artworks have been presented in exhibitions throughout Australia at galleries including Hugo Michell Gallery, Sydney Contemporary and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Amy has been awarded art residencies in New York and Japan; commissioned to create major public artworks for the City of Unley, City of Adelaide, Australian Catholic University and has collaborated on public artworks in Sydney. Her work is also in the Art Gallery of South Australia’s major collection.

Amy’s artworks often involve finely cut balsa wood to create geometric forms and delicate hand-stitching of segments of her sculptures. These sculptures, created with triangles and geometric shapes, provided the boys with inspiration.

Amy taught each year level from Reception to Year 6 on how to build and create abstract sculptural forms with an assortment of materials. This enabled every boy to see how Amy creates her artworks and the inspirations she draws from nature and geology.

Year 6 students created three-dimensional octahedrons, created out of plastic and fabric. The boys also experienced making octahedrons with balsa wood. The challenging intricate processes and techniques of building sculptural artworks produced beautiful results which were awe inspiring to the boys.

The Year 5 boys created abstract forms in balsa wood with equilateral triangles. These were painted with a wash of watercolour; the same way Amy creates her colours. The results of the colourful three-dimensional sculptures were brilliant.

Year 3 and Year 4 students created large three-dimensional forms with cardboard and painted them with bright colours and patterns. The boys were excited to use hot glue guns, which sparked their creativity and created a hands-on experience in abstract art making. The boys found the process of building with Amy and her engaging techniques thrilling.

Year 2 boys created landscapes with balsa wood triangles and watercolour washes. Their attention to detail, delicate placement and techniques in watercolour displayed a high level of skill from the boys. Mountain ranges contrasted against colourful backgrounds formed beautiful artworks.

Reception and Year 1 students created imaginative sea creatures with tangram shapes. Boys applied coloured washes on their balsa wood shapes to enhance the wood grain and arranged each segment with care, until a creature was formed.

Students were inspired by Amy’s artwork, her skills and the technique. She taught with care and thoughtful guidance.

Sally Houston
Junior School Art Teacher