Entries in Grade 12 (47)


Pandora's Box 

My Grade 12 student, Megan, produced an interactive artwork for her exam piece to fulfill the theme 'Surplus and Scarcity'. The piece was a comment on society's greed and lack of focus on things that have real value. The following pics show the examiner opening a present. This is supposed to trigger the greed impulse in her.   

She takes off the outer wrapping paper & ribbon & encounters a box 

She is a bit nervous at this stage and tentatively moves the tissue paper. 

She starts to react to what she sees inside the box (bottles of raw meat) This meat is a metaphor for us - suggesting that we will not rot/decay & eventually die. 

Looking at the chicken hearts: 

Looking at the boerewors (a South African sausage): 

Horrified at the cow's tongue: 

Taking out the livers: 

And eventually she discovers the Vanitas oil painting at the bottom of the box: 

I made a video of the whole process below: 


Big Bad Wolves and Silver Slippers 

I gave my Grade 12 students the theme “Growth and Evolution” to explore as their year work theme.  Katie interpreted this theme in terms of her own growth. She re-visits her childhood memories and explores her “big-bad wolves” and “silver – slipper” moments.   Her artwork also explores the child in every one of us. She forces us to play a childhood stacking game: the viewer has to pick up each cup & not only look at the outside – but to look at the inside of each cup to find secret messages, wishbones, tangled threads and even a snake in one.

 Katie sees life as a game & these cups are metaphors for collapse, the unexpected and the fragility of life. 

This artwork not only showcases Katie’s sophisticated thought process, but also displays her mastery of drawing in the pencil sketches of family members and items that have special significance to her. 


Amnion - Grade 12 Artwork 2015 

Sam in my Grade 12 class made a 'sack' out of a net material on which she glued bits of broken technology. 

She then asked a classmate to pose inside the net in a variety of positions and took a series of photographic stills representing an embryonic human trapped inside. She said 'the poses used were chosen because they conveyed either a feeling of raw humanity or the opposite - a somewhat morphed loss thereof.

This artwork is aimed to show how the devices and technology around us today cage the traits that define us as human. Sam feels that 'human and emotional and interpersonal growth is stunted by the evolution of technology.'  

Durban Girls' College Grade 12 Visual Arts exhibition 2014 

I can't believe that my time with this class is almost over. I have dragged them all over Durban in the school bus in pursuit of an expanded art education at the local galleries, cajoled them into listening to my art history lectures with promises of Youtube clips at the end of each lesson, discovered "selfies" of them on my phone, witnessed the 'torture' of non-arty students as models and been surprised by the whole group arriving at the opening of my exhibition at the KZNSA gallery this year.

Please feel free to pop in at school during school hours to view their fantastic exhibition.(or attend the opening) 


Jackson Pollock in Absence and Presence 

Stephanie in my Grade 12 class interpreted the theme I set (Absence and Presence)  by looking at the presence of Jackson Pollock in the art world and his absence as an alcoholic. I recently submitted some of my students work for selection for an exhibition at the KZNSA gallery "what u say 'bout what? 03 June - 21 June 2014. This group exhibition showcased the work from local tertiary institutions and high schools. I am very proud to say that Stephanie's mosaic of Jackson Pollock in broken glass bottles and wine corks was chosen for this exhibition.




The following is Stephanie's explanation of her work: My artwork explores the theme of absence and presence as a result of the use of alcohol. If one consumes alcohol they are absent in their minds whilst their body is still present. I have created a portrait out of broken alcohol bottles of Jackson Pollock who was an alcoholic. I used him because I did not want to make this artwork personal and his fame makes him immediately accessible to everyone. Alcohol can make one very emotional & this links to Jackson Pollock exploration of his emotions when painting. I used broken pieces of glass to show that alcohol can cause one to behave in a negative manner,  which can damage relationships. Pieces of smooth and soft cork create a contrast with the sharp and dangerous glass. The soft and smooth cork resembles one's mind when one is drunk as opposed to the clear glassy clarity of thought one experiences when sober.