On Wednesday 20 October, Year 7 Art students were lucky enough to work with visiting Aboriginal artist, Sasha Hill. Sasha, a Yamatji/Nyoongar woman and practicing artist, is currently exhibiting her artwork at the Fleurieu Arthouse as part of the Tarnanthi festival.
Year 7 students spent time with Sasha, learning about song lines and visual storytelling. Using a printout of a place of importance to each student, the boys created their own story, taking inspiration from the aerial mapping technique often used in Aboriginal art. Sasha also discussed cultural appropriation, or the ‘stealing’ of signs and symbols sacred to Aboriginal people. Instead, students created their own visual narrative using linework, pattern and colour which holds personal meaning to them.
In the final stage of their artmaking, the boys used white acrylic to ‘disguise’ the parts of their image that were most sacred to them. This technique mimics the style developed by Aboriginal people in recent history, to prevent others from understanding stories which are sacred to particular Aboriginal groups. Drawing in the sand had historically not been a problem, as sacred designs could be smoothed away afterwards, or left where only the initiated could see them. After explaining this, and demonstrating how she creates dots in her own work, Sasha allowed the boys to have a go at this process themselves. The results, which will be displayed in the Week 6 Senior School Art Exhibition, are outstanding! The Art Faculty would like to extend their thanks to Sasha for her informative visit, and the boys for being so respectful and keen to learn.
Senior School Art Teacher