In late 2013, as a Professional Experience Intern, I conceived a project in collaboration with Daphne Flax to facilitate the Masada College senior students towards original, contemporary art making in new ways. This became The Tent experience; the tent itself was enabled by a UNSW COFA Special Project Grant.
The aim for the students, Year 11 transitioning into Year 12, was to use this space, this object, as a catalyst, an enabler and a process.
The unit of work was begun by students firstly interrogating the conceptual framework. They researched global exhibitions and Post 9/11 audiences, particularly examining how artists, artworks and audiences activate each other. Students were assessed on their research of a Biennale of Sydney artist through an oral presentation. Students chose an aspect of this artist’s work that they connected with, and started their own material and conceptual investigations that related to the tent. The Tent was intended to help shift students into contemporary artmaking practices, vivifying and extending the possibilities of documented forms, digital media, installation practice and visceral performative gestures, developing towards the Body of Work. These investigations culminated in a mini exhibition ‘Intention’, at the end of the term, in and around the tent.
Photos of the space, ideation, experimentation and making processes might be viewed at https://www.pinterest.com/ourtentmypitch/our-tent-my-pitch/
Students were able to draw on this process towards making the Body of Work. For one student in particular, specific exploration and processes from this project enabled a Body of Work that was chosen by the Art Gallery NSW for ARTEXPRESS.