GEMS (Singapore) Art Update

It has been a productive year across the arts here at GEMS (Singapore) and the artwork regularly displayed around the school is testament to this.

In the words of Henri Matisse ‘Creativity takes courage’ and there is no doubt that we have had many young people being risk takers, moving out of their comfort zones and challenging themselves in art this year.

Our numbers have grown in school and so too have the range of artistic outcomes produced.

Grade 1 student’s enjoyed experimenting with texture in their expressive portraits, and then there are the fabulously intricate and individual clay tiles to represent their future aspiration from Grade 2.

Grade 2 Creating textured background

Grade 3 and 4 have produced bright contrasts with the printmaking process, working through the instructional steps then adding additional marks for reduction prints.

Grade 3 Printmaking

Grade 5 have been exploring deeper into the elements of art and how to use them in their own artworks.

They have created powerful observational drawings to reflect the element of value. The PY students were amazing learners as they demonstrated how they created their artworks during the SLC’s.

Grade 6s’ have been on a journey of self discovery manipulating media and fine tuning their innovative approach to creating art with some striking self portraits as well as creating mixed media collages depicting their own story.

Recently discovering the aesthetic designs of cultural masks to recreate outstanding individual masks which were completed with watercolour techniques.

Grade 6 Mask research

Grade 7 discovered the power of art with a message and used Banksy’s raw graffiti style as a starting point for their visual statements before turning their hand to manipulating clay to represent the United Nations Sustainable development goals.

Grade 7 Graffiti Style

The colourful, abstract Hundertwasser canvases depicting aerial views of places loved by Grade 8 provided a striking contrast from the monochromatic banners they produced earlier in the year inspired by the school’s natural environment.

Grade 9 and 10 started the year inquiring into clashing and complimenting cultures and explored aesthetics in their first few art pieces, Grade 9 then went on to create personalised sculptural dinner sets for artists of their choices and learnt the art of etching, collagraph and block printing.

Grade 9 printmaking – etching

While Grade 10 have finished up with a wide range of individual mixed media outcomes in their final self expression units.

Grade 10 Culture investigation- mixed media

Our eldest students in Grade 11 are also coming into their own learning more about their own preferred style and choice of media, refining skills and developing knowledge of artists and techniques.

Grade 11 self expression – acrylic on glass

As well as in the classroom during curriculum time students have embraced and incorporated their art skills in many aspects of school life.

Many of the student driven initiatives like the school dances, talent shows, charity drives, ELP experiences to name but a few, have all been complimented by creative individuals coming together to use their Visual Arts skills in powerful ways.

To finish up I’d like to reflect on another one of my favourite quotes by Pablo Picasso ‘Every child is an artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

Our aim at GEMS (Singapore) is to encourage students to celebrate and engage with the arts and find what works for them.

It’s not always about how well you can draw, our focus is more about value added, helping students to see things differently, find new opportunity and build on existing skills.

Supporting individuals in finding what works for them, discovering the best way for them to express their creativity and nurture them to become natural inquires, and to automatically apply creative thinking to everything they do.

By doing this we hope to create lifelong learners and instil a sense that no matter the age they are, they are all artists in their own unique way.

By: Claire Rimmer and Beth Roberts

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