Still Life in Mudgee

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Cementa is very proud to have been able to facilitate a photography and painting workshop with Mudgee High School year 11 Visual Arts Students by Cementa17 artist and recent addition to the Kandos artist community, Terry Burrows.

Designed in part to question the traditional notion of what constitutes a ‘still life’ this workshop was based on my 2013 project ‘Banaras Backs’, whereby I clandestinely photographed the backs of subjects sitting or squatting along the banks of the river Ganges in Varanasi, India. Over a five-month period and with an eventual archive of 5,000 ‘backs’ the subjects become increasingly object oriented, iconic and eventually abstracted. When invited to conduct a workshop for Cementa I decided to utilize this process as a starting point.

I had a fun time at Mudgee High, the staff and students were very welcoming and it was a real luxury to be able to work with them for the whole day. The students were very receptive and obviously keen on the idea of utilizing their smart phone cameras and learning a little about layers in Photoshop to eventually arrive at a painted conclusion (with some acrylic medium technical info thrown in). They even got to dress up for the photos utilizing costumes from the nearby performing arts wardrobe. Some great works were produced.

The Visual Arts teacher Helen Mclennan kindly sent the following response to the workshop:

The worksop presented by Cementa 17 Artist Terry Burrows was very well received by Year 11 Mudgee High Visual Arts Students. The students really enjoyed spending a whole day devoted to artmaking without interruptions. The workshop was well structured with a range of activities that kept them engaged and interested. After a short introduction by Terry about his practice, they took photos of each other from behind, wearing a distinctive piece of clothing. These photos were then uploaded to Photoshop for editing and printed. In the afternoon the students then used their photos as a starting point for a small acrylic painting on canvas board. Terry took them through each stage of the process step by step, demonstrating each technique. The students were very happy with their finished works at the end of the workshop. All in all it was a very worthwhile experience for the students, both in learning new techniques and working with a professional artist and learning about their practice.

Thank you to Helen McIennan, Terry Burrows and the brilliant Year 11 Mudgee High Visual Arts Students!

This project was made possible through the generous support of Arts NSW


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Still Life in Mudgee
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