TreeLine 2012 Workshops

Throughout the Sunshine Coast 11 schools are involved in TreeLine 2012. Initiated to engage the community in celebrating trees and their significance this project includes a range of activities: performances, workshops and exhibitions.

Exhibition details

All artwork created by the students from Ananda Marga River School, Kawana Waters State College and Caloundra City Private School, as well as by artists in residence: Judy Barrass and Renata Buziak will be exhibited at the Caloundra Regional Gallery from 30 May until 8 July. The exhibition opening will feature life native plants from the Coolum Community Native Nursery, the plants will be free for the audience at the opening on 2 June.

It was a pleasure to work with some enthusiastic and committed students from Ananda Marge River School in Maleny and year 12 students at the Kawana Waters State College creating artwork inspired by TreeLine.

TreeLine at The River School publication by Judy Barrass.

Details and photographs from workshops at the Amanda Marga River School in Maleny with both artists working together with the year 7 students are featured in Judy's posts on her blog:
River School Day 1
River School Day 2
Caloundra City Private School

Special thanks to all the students who participated in the project and the art teachers for all their abundant support: Tim from Kawana Waters State College and Josh and Tracy from River School. Also thanks to Catchy Money for all her assistance, all the Caloundra Gallery staff and the Sunshine Coast Council as well as the Coolum Nursery for supplying native plants for the exhibition opening (free during the opening).

Photographs from the Exhibition Opening at Caloundra Regional Gallery on Facebook.

The workshops

Firstly the students were familiarised with the TreeLine project and concepts that will be explored during the workshops. Cathy Money, Education & Public Programs Officer at the Caloundra Regional Gallery, introduced the TreeLine project followed by Renata Buziak’s artist talk and overview of the workshops.

During the workshops the students explored TreeLine’s aims and objectives including rising environmental awareness while being introduced to a pioneering photographic processes: photogram and cyanotype. Both go back to the beginning of photography in the 1800s. Placing objects on light sensitive material and exposing it to sunlight creates a deep blue cyanotype impression or a shadow – a photogram of that object.

Kawana College students created three bodies of work for the TreeLine exhibition at the Caloundra Regional Gallery. Each student made a couple of individual cyanotypes, traditional black and white photograms and as a team two cyanotype murals. The students used organic materials, drawings, cut out shapes, hand made negatives manipulated by scratching, drawing, tracing, handwritten and printed text and montage (Cliché Verre). By layering and collaging of a number of items together they created intriguing and powerful images presenting messages of the explored themes.

Creating cyanotype photograms for TreeLine encouraged the students to collect, select and document objects used in the process as well as create abstract works that allow for layers of imagination and interpretation. The intricate silhouettes and shadows present records of plants and other forms placed directly on to the light sensitive pieces of cotton, and exposed to sunlight. As the sun wraps around each form, penetrates some or is blocked by others, it creates impressions of more or less recognisable shapes. The resulting images present students’ concern and appreciation for nature and the environment they live in and their sense of playfulness.

The theme of Habitat Trees was explored for the first of the 2 murals. Habitat trees are essential for the survival of numerous species of insects, animals and birds. These old or mature trees are invaluable for their provision of living places and food, shade, breeding sites; enriching the soil and enhancing the quality of air. Native habitat trees are immensely more critical than any imported trees for supporting native wildlife.

The second mural was designed to depict our collective responsibility for the cleanliness of our environment and therefore for the survival and preservation of the significant local trees and all the species that they provide living places for. This work aims to encourage students and the community to stretch out their hands in helping to keep the Coast clean. Making the murals was challenging and rewarding, it took good planning and teamwork

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