In November, Creative Industries students at the Coffs Harbour TAFE campus will be hosting an exhibition of their work. Head Teacher of Creative Industries, Phil Greed, shares all the excitement of the ‘EXPOSED’ festival of art.
Tell us about the Creative Industries ‘faculty’ of TAFE and what it encompasses.
The North Coast TAFE Creative Industries Section at Coffs Harbour delivers a range of educational arts programs across three campuses.
A number of courses offer comprehensive vocational training in Visual Arts and Contemporary Craft, Interactive Digital Media, Furniture Design & Technology, Ceramics, Museum Practice and Arts Administration. The various Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma studio based programs provide the opportunity for students to develop technical and creative skills under the guidance of highly professional and motivated teachers, in a supportive learning environment.
Over 400 enrolled part-time and full-time students in 2011 reflects this region’s yearning for engagement and training in the arts.
Tell us about the concept behind ‘EXPOSED’ and why it’s important to showcase students’ work.
EXPOSED is the title for this year’s graduating student exhibition, to be held at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery. It will feature students currently studying the Diploma in Furniture Design & Technology, Certificate IV in Interactive Digital Media, Certificate IV in Visual Arts and Contemporary Craft and Certificate III in Ceramics.
This large scale group exhibition will showcase the work of over 70 graduating students. This year, the amazing array of works on display will create a dynamic set of dialogues across a diverse field of artistic practices. This festival of art gives students an opportunity to share their ambitions and successes with family and friends who have travelled alongside them through the years of study. While some students will have been involved in exhibition programs on and off at the college, EXPOSED is a chance for students to stand together with their peers and reflect on their achievements, as well as their goals for the future.
There’s such a diverse range of subjects/creations to come out of your faculty. What can we expect to see at the exhibition?
Colourful narratives, bold figure paintings, arresting portraits and complex spiritual themes will be features of the paintings in this exhibition. The paintings have been created by graduating C1V Visual Arts students and range in size from larger-than-life size to smaller ‘jewels’. The paintings are samples from a body of 3 works, created by each artist. Due to the large number of works on show, space is insufficient to exhibit all works by each student.
Under the thematic umbrella of ‘Figure in Context’, the paintings in this exhibition are individual responses, developed and refined over time. Environmental concerns, personal issues, concepts of beauty and self portraits have all been created in a wide variety of styles. Expressionism, realism, surrealism and abstraction are all featured.
Students experimented with a broad range of materials to best communicate the concept/idea. Paint, ink, pastel, shellac, charcoal, collage, wax and impasto medium have been employed by each artist when considered appropriate.
The sculptures in the exhibition demonstrate the skills and knowledge students have developed to produce sculpture through the exploration and application of a varied and broad range of techniques, tools, equipment and materials. Students have been encouraged to extend their learning by experimenting in how they approach the making of sculpture, to investigate a range of ideas and to develop a personal vision.
Unique contemporary works created by furniture design students will be on show, including complex folding stools with their aesthetic beauty and complex mechanics, ergonomic seating challenge conformity of the norm and a variety of works at a level of design and construction ready for domestic and commercial sales and manufacturing. All pieces of furniture are built to the highest level of craftsmanship, detailing impeccable joinery, native Australian timbers and a variety of materials employed to convey the designer’s ideas.
The Ceramics work showcases concept development and practical skills in a range of applications, including wheel throwing, handbuilding, mould making, slip casting, clay and surface technologies and kiln firing. The hands on development of a comprehensive knowledge base of the ceramics medium and an explorative personal vocabulary of concept and form is encouraged within a contemporary cultural and historical context.
Interactive Digital Media Certificate IV will have two aspects of their work on display: part of their course this year involved digital photography and design. On display will be some of the best photographs and best designs done by the students during the year. The photographic images include examples of their photography skills and their digital manipulation skills. Also on display will be some of the working models of their interactive projects. Each student is required to produce a major project which is user-controlled/interactive. This can include websites, digital portfolios, games and digital instructional design, exemplifying the ingenuity of the ideas the students have developed. Interactive projects will be available in a computer kiosk for visitors to the exhibition try.
When is the opening night of ‘EXPOSED’?
Opening night by invitation is 6pm Friday 4 November at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery. Exhibition dates are 4 to 26 November, open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Opening night promises to be a fabulous evening. I think the exhibition will demonstrate the creativity and the high level of skills students acquire through study at TAFE. The exhibition gives them recognition in the community but more importantly, to themselves, and the work on show is a celebration of their achievements, motivation and commitment to art making.