ZART Conference reflection- Jane Kennedy
Patricia Piccinni Keynote talk
Patricia Piccinini’s contemplation of the significance of care and empathy within her artistic works resonated profoundly, particularly in our contemporary context. I had previously attended talks delivered by Piccinini, where her focus delved into genetic mutations and the moral quandaries entwined with genetic engineering. During a past presentation to senior secondary students across two Catholic high schools, I witnessed her knack for propelling viewers to question personally held moral perspectives in a manner that was profound and effective.
When first encountering her sculptural works, one might initially be captivated by the unsettling nature of her visuals. The hybrid human chimeras she portrays, often engaging affectionately with ordinary humans, challenge us to venture beyond our comfort zones. This encourages a deeper exploration of the emotions associated with empathy and the essence of humanity itself. Piccinini’s ability to evoke these reflections through her art is both powerful and thought-provoking.
Christian Bonnet: Fun Clay Cars
The ceramics workshop led by Christian Bonnet proved to be a valuable experience. Christian’s passion for integrating classic cars into art was obvious, and it was genuinely captivating to witness his artwork firsthand.
The workshop methodically guided participants through the intricate process of crafting a clay car, breaking it down into comprehensible stages. We began with constructing the chassis, progressing to the sides, roof, and bonnet, and finally, embellishing the vehicle with distinctive features like a bumper bar, lights, and tires. For my project, I opted to recreate a vintage Ford F truck pickup, characterized by its blocky and boxy design—perfectly suited for the task at hand.
Reflecting on this experience, it brought to mind my previous attempt years ago when I endeavoured to create clay cars with a design class of year 8 students. That assessment task required students to conceptualize and design a toy car, including the production of technical drawings as an integral part of the design process. Building the clay cars at that time was a somewhat haphazard endeavour, with varying degrees of success.
If I were to undertake a similar project with my class in the future, I would unquestionably employ Christian’s technique for constructing clay cars. The step-by-step stages of crafting these miniature vehicles are easily graspable, making it an ideal choice for middle school students.