Exploring Indigenous Art of the Wurrundjeri People
Term: 3 Year: 2007
The Year 8 art students of Catholic Ladies’ College have been busy looking at a variety of Aboriginal artists both past and present.
Students studied the symbolism, interpretations and meanings in artist Michael Nelson Jagamara’s works of dreaming sites of the Western Desert.
The Wurrundjeri people are the traditional custodians of the Catholic Ladies’ College site and with this knowledge students researched many aspects of Indigenous culture including beliefs, ceremonies and the importance of art in everyday life.
Walking around the College grounds, students looked at the layout and how it could be drawn out as a map. They imagined what it would look like as an aerial photograph then designed individual maps based on the layout and what was important to them.
These maps were then drawn freehand and the best designs were chosen to put on canvas. The canvases were stretched and primed and the designs drawn on with a HB pencil. Acrylic Chromacryl Paint was applied to the background and colour swatches were made from the College colours and the surrounding vegetation. The students practiced their technique with a variety of brushes and cotton buds to make different sized dots. They then worked in groups creating vegetation and walking tracks. The painting was sprayed with a clear varnish and beads
were added to emphasize some areas, the students also wanted to add something pretty to represent themselves in amongst the vegetation.
There is a strong interest in Indigenous culture and issues at Catholic Ladies’ College which is encouraged through a variety of initiatives. We celebrate and strive for reconciliation though the Social Justice Group, and Year 9 and 10 students are invited to journey to Central Australia for an Indigenous Immersion Experience.
We are welcomed on to the Pitjanjatjara lands near Uluru by the traditional custodians of those lands, the Anangu people, and we share in their ancient and sacred story. To explore Indigenous art is yet another initiative to a better understanding and celebration of Aboriginal culture.
Arts KLA Team Leader
Catholic Ladies’ College, Eltham