All The Fun Of The Fair!
Term: 1 Year: 2011
When it was decided at Sacre Coeur, that the Junior School Art Show would coincide with the French Village Fair
in October, I knew exactly what path my Prep-6 Visual Art Program would follow this year. I decided on a
Circus/Carnival theme, focusing in particular on Clowns.
The theme would also be linked to the Junior School Musical in Term 2, which was titled ‘Vaudeville’.
As I was responsible for the props for this production, I made sure that I would be able to use the artwork and
recycle some of the props for the Art Show.
We were also fortunate to receive a grant through Arts Victoria, Artists in Schools Program and our aim was to
link this with Visual Art. Film-maker, Gregg Brown spent approximately 14 sessions during Terms 2 & 3, working
with Year 5 students to create an animation titled ‘Back-flips and Butterflies’. This project was
successfully incorporated into our Art Show theme, with the students creating a variety of circus characters and
props for the film.
In the Art Room, the students from all levels were immersed in research and discussions of their experiences of
the theme and they were encouraged to experiment with a variety of materials and techniques. It was amazing to see
the diversity and range of responses to a similar subject and when all of the artwork was finally assembled, the
skill development from Prep-6 was obvious.
The students really used their experiences, knowledge and imagination, to create some amazing 2D and 3D artwork
throughout the year.
Each level was introduced to a range of tasks including a variety of specific painting techniques, print-making,
papier mache construction, ceramics, mask making, textiles and various collage techniques.
The Prep students created clay clowns on sticks and mixed media ice-creams, that according to some visitors,
looked good enough to eat while the students from Years 1 & 2 modelled the most wonderful glazed, ceramic clowns
and created designer show-bags that displayed their knowledge of paper collage techniques.
The delightful 3D Carousel Horses that formed the centre-point of the display, were the work of the Year 3 & 4
students. They were also responsible for designing and creating the life sized clown puppets that demonstrated the
students’ excellent skill development and attention to detail. This was a very challenging task and they were
able to sustain attention and motivation over a number of weeks, to reach a successful outcome.
Year 5 students were involved in the Animation Project for much of Terms 2 & 3, so I decided to give them an
interesting task that could be completed outside the Art Room. Their task was to design, draft and complete a
long-stitch tapestry of a clown. The students loved this activity and the finished products proved to be a popular
addition to the Art Show.
A number of tasks, ranging from designing and creating carnival character masks, to meeting the challenge of
painting ‘Moving Pictures and depicting an image of what could be seen while ‘Peeping Under a Circus
Tent’, really kept the Year 6 students thinking outside the square. The students could only show a portion of
an act and the viewer had to be able to imagine the rest. The results of this task were quite amazing and in most
cases the concept was very sophisticated. As in all instances, they met the challenge.
Our Year 6 students were involved in the Stonnington Council and Duldig Museum initiative, ‘Clay for
Kids’ workshops, during Term 3. We used the Art Show theme as the focus for the ceramic sculptures that were
produced during the workshops. The students created clowns, ferris wheels and various circus characters that were a
perfect addition to the Art Show.
The Art Show was certainly a great success and showcased the enormous talent of
our wonderful artists. These words from our Principal Maureen Ryan summed it up.’ ‘The colour,
vitality, energy and quality of the work was nothing short of breathtaking. It was an outstanding Art Show.’
Visual Art Teacher
Suitable for Levels Prep – 6