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On Monday 30 July we celebrated the artworks of students from Reception to Year 6 at the Opening Night of the Junior School Art Exhibition titled Impressionism and post-impressionism. The students proudly showcased their artwork to their families who were overwhelmed by the quality of the works.

The exhibition ‘Impressionism and Post Impressionism’ displays the journey of 9 weeks of learning during Term 2. The students discovered artists, their painting techniques, the colour they used, the subject matter that they painted and the lives they lived.

Every boy from Reception to Year 6 explored the significance of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art movements. They immersed themselves in the worlds of Monet, Cezanne, Seurat, Signac, van Gogh, Pissarro, Renoir, Morisset and numerous others with colour and technique permeating throughout every lesson.

The Impressionists and Post Impressionists taught us about colour and the role of colour not only in painting, but in history. They provided us with knowledge of painting styles and techniques and have allowed us to capture the fleeting effects and our interpretations of colour and light, of movement and the absence of outlining.

Famous for their ‘Plein Air’, painting outdoors, it became common practice for Impressionist painters to begin and finish their paintings outside, to capture the fleeting colour and light in the landscape.

The students mixed their colours not in the palette but on the artwork itself to emphasise what was known as broken colour. During classes we experimented and applied different brush strokes which included length and direction. We also saw the influence of Japanese artists Hiroshige and Hokusai inspiring Monet and van Gogh.

The first impressionist exhibition was in 1874, in which Monet presented his work: Impression sunrise. Today, impressionism is one of the most popular art movements in history.

As Impressionism evolved, principles of harmony and contrast of colour through visual perception were examined. Post-impressionists placed colours side by side allowing the retina in the eye to create its own optical mixture. This created expressive effect through distortion. The students applied short brushstrokes of breaking up colour with dots and dashes, creating artworks alive with movement.

The Art Gallery of South Australia’s exhibition, Colours of Impressionism Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, was the source of our inspiration for this exhibition. We would like to thank the parents and boys of the Junior School for visiting the exhibition.

For the students at St Peter’s College, it has been a fascinating and memorable experience. Boy’s were inspired by artists and the significant impact that they have had on history. Their experience in the Visual Arts has left a lasting impression on us and a colourful world for us to explore and appreciate.

Thank you to the following people for without their generous support the exhibition would not have been possible: Mrs Cabot, our Reception Art teacher; Mr Hine, Mrs Slinger, Mr Kolpak and Mrs Yorston. Our Art Assistants: Mrs Kepler and Mrs Counihan. Mrs Michelon, Mrs Burgess, Mrs Day, Mrs Jenkins and Mr Jason Hall.

Miss Sally Houston
Junior School Art Teacher
Learning & Teaching Excellence