I was busy completed the Light Chamber Observatory the afternoon that this grand mosaic was unveiled to the public on Wednesday 28th of September. A couple of Saturdays ago I was finally able to see the finished beast standing tall and proud alongside the Community Hall… and I was pleasantly impressed, it is actually quite a strong work with loads of colour and character. The Moyne Shire crew who undertook the installation extended the legs so that the art work is now easily seen as you drive through Hawkesdale main thoroughfare. My favourite parts are the three-dimensional features including the clouds and reeds which make the work just that bit more sculptural.
One of the really exciting parts of the Kitchen Table Art Expedition is the creation of the Light Chamber Observatory….. This structure will be built at the end of Macarthur Primary School’s Kitchen Garden. It is a “child centred” design that includes bench seating, a blackboard and the real treat: a coloured Perspex atrium!! It will also include observation equipment like a thermometer, rain gauge and weather vain. Each of the three expedition parties will make a set of permanent sculptures which will be used to decorate areas of it. We will also take a digital photograph of a drawing/painting by each explorer which will be turned into a transparent sticker and then adhered to the Perspex to create a stained glass window effect- it will look pretty amazing!
We have been working in collaboration with the Macarthur Men’s Shed to organise the construction. We will use as much recycled materials as possible in the building, this is for environmental and economic reasons but mostly because we this that a collage of materials- corrugated iron, timber etc- will contrast with the bright Perspex to make a really intriguing space for the children. We have already had our roof donated by one of the Men’s Shed members, an old corrugated tank cut to size…
The initial design is picture at the bottom right of the above image (you can click on it to enlarge the view), over the last few weeks I have undertaken a re-design process in line with the Light Chamber Observatory’s evolution. The large image above is the final form that it will take…. construction begins in July for a September completion…..
I have been developing the Kitchen Table Art Expedition with Macarthur Primary School for about two years. Last December we were successful in our bid to be one of Arts Victoria’s 18 Artist In Schools Project. After much anticipation we began our project in early May this term. The project involves students from grades 4, 5, & 6 of Macarthur Primary which is a tiny primary school in the country town of Macarthur. It is a beautiful school with a great sense of community, bright students and great teachers- I have been having a blast working with them each Thursday.
The Kitchen Table Art Expedition is HUGE! (Getting it off to a good start has taken a lot of time hence this belated post!). We use Colonial Artist Eugene von Guerard as our conceptual starting point, his understanding and explorations of Australia’s ecology provide a great metaphor for our examination of interconnectivity.
The project works on the theme of “parts into the whole” and is fittingly made up of four sub-projects that will culminate in our final event in September. The sub-projects are:
The Light Chamber Observatory, a sensory tunnel being built at the school’s kitchen garden with the help of Macarthur’s Mens Shed. It will combine recycled materials with a coloured Perspex roof and the students artwork.
Notes from the Field This is a video Project wherein the explorer students examine their environments through film.
Gaia is Symbiosis as seen from Earth This is an amazing project where we attach a video camera to a helium filled weather balloon and launch it into the stratosphere- we the retrieve it with the help of a parachute and a GPS
Gesamtkunstkwerk We are borrowing this German term to describe our multi-artform extravagant finale. We will combine a kitchen garden feast with the premiere of the expedition films, the unveiling of Light Chamber Observatory, ephemeral sculptures and an exhibition of the student artwork….
The students have been divided into three Expedition Parties, each exploring a theme of Light, Space or Earth. Each group rotates through five week long programs in the different mediums of Painting & Drawing, Sculpture & Installation, and New Media. Each group gets to experience each medium over the course of the project. We have just finished our first five week program- it has been educational and exciting.