“I wanted to create a collection of abstract pieces, all belonging to the overarching theme of ‘Puzzles of Life’,” says Francisca Wehner, IB Visual Arts student.
This week, Grade 12 students presented their final work for the IB Visual Arts exhibition. The IB Diploma Programme Visual Arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative expectations and boundaries. In addition to engaging in the theoretical understanding of diverse perspectives and artistic styles, students are expected to produce a body of artwork through a process of reflection and experimentation. This shows a synthesis of skill, media, and concept.
After several months of working on their pieces, the students exhibit their artwork to a larger audience, where they explain the ways in which the works are connected.
“By puzzles, I mean the many aspects of feelings and emotions that are all different but fit together like a puzzle,” Francisca explains, as she talks about her exhibits. “The piece on ‘Chaos’ represents anxiety, inspiration for which was drawn from Picasso’s abstract styles. While the piece on ‘Ignorance’ suggests close-mindedness in its dark, dull bearing, the ‘Kaleidoscope’ embodies the opposite – different shapes, structures and colors representing varied lenses we can look at life through. It helps us appreciate everything a bit more.”
The pieces exhibited showcase the way the students have engaged with different media and techniques, documentation of process, reflections on artists and artworks, and the development of ideas.
For Breanna Watkins’s artwork, the central theme is the Circle of Life. The beginning, middle and end of life are symbolized in a linear way through her pieces.
“The elements of what makes us human, like love, evolution, and catastrophe, are juxtaposed with the romantic portrayals of good versus evil,” the Grade 12 student describes. “The piece on ‘Symbiosis’ is representative of death, and of how we come from nature and will return to it. The ‘Oni’ mask, inspired from Japanese folklore, features an ‘eye of judgment’, presented at the end of life. Behind it is a mirror which helps the viewer reflect on their lives through the lens of this final judgment, but also through a vantage point displaying the exhibition at large.”
While at first glance most people think of emotions as a human attribute, IB student Lily Owens has used animals to depict various emotions and feelings in her art pieces. “Dynamic poses, photography, as well as composition, encourage the audience to consider the emotions the pieces invoke,” says Lily. Her inspiration stems from her love for animals, although her work is also influenced by artists like Bethany Vere and Janet Ferraro. The digital art pieces in the series ‘Curiosity’ include a horse painted from three different angles, thus nudging the viewer to recognize the hidden emotional cues. “My most challenging piece is the painting depicting a horse trapped in a glass,” Lily reflects. “This surrealist piece characterizes our proclivity as humans to take things from the wild and make them ours.”
As every year, Grade 12 IB Visual Arts students have outdone themselves in creating bold, poignant artwork. Every piece exhibited is an expression of their vaulting artistic capabilities. Congratulations to the students for achieving an admirable milestone. In case you missed the art exhibition in the FIS Theater this week, please enjoy a ‘virtual’ display in the photo gallery below.