Category Archives: The Blog

Check out the latest news and stories from Aeoncademy’s journey into Education through Creativity!

Here, you can check out:

What’s on at the Centre, and

How our Creative Spark is being nurtured.

Water fountains and civic features

After two weeks in Barcelona, there are some civic features here I really appreciate. For instance, you don’t need to lug a water bottle around while tracking through the streets or exploring the many parks because there are water bubblers everywhere!

A bird at the bubbler
A bird at the bubbler

Not only do they dispense water but some of them are  old and incredibly beautiful, others more contemporary or with a bit of a DIY aesthetic. In this densely populated city of 1.6 million people, tourist season peak time can  swell numbers to 8 million! A massive increase of people with all their demands for rooms, food and rubbish disposal.

Lovely fountain
Lovely fountain
well used DIY fountain
well used DIY fountain
Modenista Fountain
Modernista Fountain
Community Garden
Community Garden
Fountain inspired 'Personage' by Joan Miro
Fountain inspired ‘Personage’ by Joan Miro
organica
Organic waste

Everywhere you walk there are recycling hoppers to sort out your waste. This city is very well maintained with round the clock cleaning by electric cars on all the main tourist routes.

Recycling hoppers are widely available
Recycling hoppers are widely available
Electric cleaning cars
Electric cleaning cars

People here value plants and greenery.  Tiny balconies are full of pot plants, there are squares and avenues planted with lovely shade giving trees and community gardens pop up on roof-tops and in communal courtyard spaces. Large parks have been carefully planned: providing lawn space, scented avenues and lots of shade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the best things about this city is the bicycle sharing system called Bicing (rhymes with icing). For about $50 a year, residents can join up which gives them access to a bike from any of the  6000 available at 420 stations around the city. You can ride the bike for free up to 30 minutes and then there is a small charge for up to 2 extra hours after that. You want to get the bike back to a station before 4 hours though or it get expensive. This shouldn’t be a problem because there seem to be bike stations all over the place, just like the bubblers and recycling centres.

Full bike station ready to go
Full bike station ready to go

https://www.bicing.cat/

Popular bike station with only a couple of bikes left
Popular bike station with only a couple of bikes left

Thank you for a wonderful Open Day!

While the cats are away… we had an Open Day.

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A massive thank you to all the families who came to see us, who booked in for the program, who got involved in our sweet crafternoon, and joined our dramatic adventure! It was wonderful to have you come by.

We also got to release our Winter program!

The Winter Program

We’re all super keen to be putting on this fantastic program these coming holidays. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with the office here, or give us a call – 6142 3268.

Following a fantastic Open Day, we have been left with a few treasures yet to make their way home. Canopic vessels, birds of all designs, doors to other worlds and musical chimes from the Summer holiday program are all currently being displayed in a cupboard just outside the Art Room door.

If you were unable to come by on the open day but would like to pick up any work you can visit us during our after-school care hours (Monday to Friday from 2-6pm). If you do pop by don’t forget to ask us about the fantastic Winter program that will be running between the 4th and 15th of July.

There will plenty of opportunity to create new ceramic masterpieces in the upcoming program as well as explore how mixed materials can be shaped into powerful staves, test the flexibility and function of wire and metal while creating sculptures, investigate object placement and the forms of living sculptures as terrariums take shape not to mention participate in a dramatic adventure or two.

Bushrangers, Dragons, warriors, adventurers, smugglers, fey folk, and pesky Time Bandits will all have their time to shine in the hall. There are choices to be made, decisions to ponder, doors to open, and close, defeat, victory, and stories; to be told, and rewritten. What legend, fable or tale will be sung of your adventures and who will write it?

Teffany is currently conducting some research into a whole bunch of fabulous Spanish artists – including Gaudi and Hieronymus Bosch while in Barcelona and she is very excited to be able to return and share her reflections. Check out some of her pictures and explorations here.

Gaudi~ An artist of nature

This week has been a monumental one (no pun intended). Mathew and I are in Barcelona and I have finally seen, moved amongst and touched the work of Antoni Gaudi, an artist whose work I have admired since childhood.

Art as a part of Life
Art as a part of Life

Essentially Gaudi embodies the idea of art being an integral part of life. In his eccentric and organic architectural structures he reverentially calls upon the forms found in nature as a paeon to his God.  He is famous for his saying  ‘originality is returning to the origin’ an idea which is born out in his extensive use of natural forms like honeycomb, tree trunk columns, spirals and fractal like branching structures.

Gaudi's Gorgeous Structures...
Branching structures at Casa Milá

We started with a dusk visit to Casa Mila which is better known as La Pedrera (The Quarry), an originally  disparaging nickname for an apartment building constructed in the modernist period in Catalonia, Barcelona at the beginning of the 19th Century. Originally constructed as an apartment for a wealthy patron it anticipated the changes of the new millennia by incorporating innovative structures like an underground car park, a lift,  a light flooded central shared courtyard and open plan floors to allow the inhabitants to design their own spaces.

It is always a weird sensation to actually experience the environment you have anticipated by looking at postcards, art books or online videos.

 La Pedrera itself stands uniquely in a street surrounded by historical and stately buildings. The famous doors that look so delicate in pictures are massive iron gates inspired by the patterned wings of a butterfly. The inside ground floor of the courtyard space is flooded in colour from algal greens to floral pinks and blues. Decoratively exuberant it celebrates natural patterns from the minutiae of curlicues of balustrades and door handles to the massive bones of the entire construction . The structure rises from the floor in a giant spiral like the interior of a sea shell or snail. Massive tree like pillars support the building stretching up to the roof space which contains large catenary arches, commonly found in Gothic architecture, a style Gaudi was extremely fond of. Walking through the roof area is like walking through the body of a whale, the arches forming ribs and tunnels. Apparently this was where all the washing was hung to dry!

From this roof space the very top of La Pedrera is accessible through narrow spiral staircases leading to more fantastical sculptural shapes rearing into the sky like Easter Island statues. Like so many historical places in Barcelona, the building is given a contemporary interpretation for public use everyday. Here a light projection show transforms the 100 year old rooftop into an incredible canvas of colour and movement with images of plants and animals in a celebration of nature Gaudi surely would have appreciated.

Then Park Guell…

The Hall @ Aeoncademy

There is a space at Aeon that transforms each day. A place that at times can traverse space and time. An area that divided or united provides students of Aeoncademy with opportunities; there’s places to explore, people to meet and skills to master.

Let me introduce you to the hall; the crossroads of Aeoncademy.

Meal time with a little washing up (#life skills)

Sharing meal-times is a fantastic way to foster community. Sitting down, surrounded by peers and friends, helps our students learn from each other and develop their sense of self as part of a greater whole. Talking about their day, with each other and with the Aeoncademy team, helps them unwind after tough days at school. It’s also an opportunity to eat some fantastic food, and learn about washing up in WashPod – which is really just a fancy name for children taking responsibility for their impact on the space.

Dramatic adventures

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Vala uses the hall & stage as a blank slate – tabula rasa – on which it lays foundation stones of creative, interactive storytelling. The hall has become everything from Mayan Ziggurats, to the Australian Desert, to the cabin of a Spaceship in orbit. It’s a space that our participants interact with to both change themselves and the space – and they do so with gusto every day.

Cooking up a storm (Sparks world cooking)

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Anna and Esther take the helm of our Sparks Cooking extravaganzas at the canteen end of the hall. Taking raw ingredients and creativity, flour and foodstuffs fly together into amazing multicultural creations, teaching children about food, where food comes from, different cultures’ approach to food, as well as about cooking, cleaning, and taking responsibility. It’s invaluable to have access to a space that directly connects to a functional kitchen for this program.

Dramatic Interaction 

When they’ve finished cooking and eating, and everything that goes with it, Sparks are often found interacting with our Vala program in the context of the hall. The numerous entrances and exits, the raised platform of the stage, and the divisibility of the hall provides us with some awesome opportunities for super cool play.

Entrance to the outside World

And don’t forget the doorway! Passing in through the vibrancy of our Hall Life gives parents a direct passage to our nerve centre – the office – and guides our parent body through to the nexus point between all our fantastic programs, but more to the point – our hall guides children out into the vitality of nature where they experience creative play on so many levels.

 

Warm your cockles at the Aeoncademy Open Day

We’re launching our Winter Program on Saturday, the 28th of May at our quarterly Open Day!

Open Day

Come for the Crafternoon, for the exhibition of Children’s Art, for the Interactive Dramatic Adventure, for the handmade food (made by the Sparks!) for the first look at our Winter Holiday Program, or for the massive 20% Discount on bookings made for it on the day.

Our Autumn Open Day from last year

Aeoncademy is a strong believer in the local community, and our Open Days are one of the ways we try and bring a bit more creativity into everyone’s lives. From Art & Craft advice from our supremely qualified facilitators, to chats about the things that impact our community.

Attendee at the Open Day

Not only is the Open Day great for our community to interact with us, it also gives us a chance to check in with our families, to get to know each of you a bit better, and to help inform our philosophical approach to education through creativity!

Open Day Art

We also love seeing you – too often our only chance to have a word is in the wild and hectic moments during drop-off or pick-up. The Open Day gives us a chance to sit down, have a cup of tea, and really get to know you.

Open Day Drama

For our Adolescent Artists, there’s space available for you to come and Make Art here at Aeoncademy. We’re also very keen to see you! Do come by.

Divergence

Isabelle Mackay-Sim has been making  strides into her artistic career and we were all very happy to attend the opening of Divergence  at Form Studio and Gallery on Friday 6th May.

Isabelle Mackay-Sim has the longest tenure of any student at Aeoncademy and now facilitates the Wednesday drawing and painting class.

After  graduating the ANU’s School of Art, Isabelle has been busy establishing her emerging art practice.

Divergence includes her latest body of work and develps on themes explored in her last show. All the works in the show are made of clay and very diverse! Go have a look

The show runs until 23rd May http://www.formstudioandgallery.com.au

 

The six artists in Divergence, although all working in ceramics, use the medium in very diverse and unusual ways. What brings the work together in this exhibition is the artists’ use of divergent thinking to create engaging and unique sculptural works.

Elaine Bradley, Verney Burness, Richilde Flavell, Isabelle Mackay-Sim, Fran Romano and Lia Tajcnar invite you to this exhibition.

Works informed by biology and flora, Mackay-Sim’s work celebrate atypical relationships, and offer an example of coexistence that crosses gender boundaries. Burness replicates destruction and renewal in her dialogue with natural forces, while Tajcnar tackles metaphysical questions about the nature of perception and knowledge. Romano extends her exploration of the universal importance of ritual and remembrance and Flavell’s work is informed by our culture’s glorification of the busy through faceted installation.

Welcome Back to School!

The first week of the school term has involved lots of creative play and introductions to the experience of both Vala and Creative Catalyst for the children. Specifically during the week this has involved creating a cave where relics and artworks glow, giving plasticine and clay a go, learning how to wield a sword, enjoying the netball courts adjacent to the garden for active games, dress ups, face paint, drawing, jumping, running, skipping, and reading!

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Meanwhile behind the scenes the program facilitators have been putting their energy into constructing the programming for this term. It gives us great pleasure to share with you the fun we have planned.   

Week Two
Creative Catalyst Tree of Life Family Tree Badging Mother Miniatures – Pencil Mother’s Day Pendants
Mother’s Day Crafty Play
Vala Dramatic Adventures War & Peace in Old Venice War & Peace in Old Venice War & Peace in Old Venice War & Peace in Old Venice
Sparks Creative play Mother’s Day Ornaments The Masquerade Popcorn: Flavour Investigation Egyptian Burial Mask Pictures
Week Three
Creative Catalyst Leaf Drawing Acorn Sculpture & Autumnal Adventures Autumn Watercolours Egyptian Pots
Mushroom Kit Dioramas
Vala Dramatic Adventures Aztec Omens Aztec Omens Aztec Omens Aztec Omens
Sparks Creative play Darts of the Totonac Aztec Hot Chocolate Chunky Beasties Sacrifice to Huitchlapotchli
Week Four
Creative Catalyst Leaf Drawing Cont. Autumnal Adventures cont. Still Life: Pumpkin Perspectives: Pencil & Paint Egyptian Pots
Mushroom Kit Dioramas
Vala Dramatic Adventures Fly Me To The Moon Fly Me To The Moon Fly Me To The Moon Fly Me To The Moon
Sparks Creative play Savoury Twists Watercolour Leaf Rubbings Ambush or A Hoity Toity Party Samosa
Week Five
Creative Catalyst Leaf Buildings Diorama Autumnal Adventures Finale. Still Life: Pumpkin Perspectives Cont. Open Day – WIP Display
Mushroom Kit Dioramas + Open Day Preparation
Vala Dramatic Adventures The Gallows & The Greenwood The Gallows & The Greenwood The Gallows & The Greenwood The Gallows & The Greenwood
Sparks Creative play Tree of Life Group Drawing Forest Spirits & The Little Folk of Yorkshire Red and Green Pesto Patterned Candle Holders
Week Six
Creative Catalyst Dream Catchers Ceramic Soup Bowls Aboriginal Mermaids & Monsters: Rarrk Painting Candelabra
Dramatic Adventure: Wild Camp Bush Adventure
Vala Dramatic Adventures The Keepers Isle The Keepers Isle The Keepers Isle The Keepers Isle
Sparks Creative play Gicanic (Toady Mess) Pizza Faces Fantasy Meets Reality Collage Gicanic (Toady Mess)
Week Seven
Creative Catalyst Dream Catchers Cont. Ceramic Soup Cont. Aboriginal Mermaids & Monsters Cont. Candelabra Cont.
Rain Sticks, Rattles & More Percussion!
Vala Dramatic Adventures Sage of Snow Treasure Peak Sage of Snow Treasure Peak Sage of Snow Treasure Peak Sage of Snow Treasure Peak
Sparks Creative play Clay Tree Of Life Leaves Ceramic Bowls Sherpas of Snow Treasure Peak Cheescake Bites
Week Eight
Creative Catalyst
Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday Service Closed
Cyclops Staff Fractal Drawings: Make a Paper Snow Flake, Draw & Spray around it and continue to draw. Tumblers & Cups
Rain Sticks, Rattles & More Percussion! Cont.
Vala Dramatic Adventures Escape Into The Bush Escape Into The Bush Escape Into The Bush
Sparks Creative play Outback Animals & Dreaming Tales Muffins! Coiled Rainbow Serpent Cups
Week Nine
Creative Catalyst Free Art Play Cyclops Staff Cont. Fractal Drawing Cont. Tumblers & Cups
Majolica Tiles
Vala Dramatic Adventures Brethren of the Coast Brethren of the Coast Brethren of the Coast Brethren of the Coast
Sparks Creative play Buccanneer Brats Sweet Scrolls & Snails Snowflakes Buccanneer Brats
Week Ten
Creative Catalyst Free Art Play Free Art Play Complete Portfolio Work Free Time With Clay
Free Choice!
Vala Dramatic Adventures TIME BANDITS: King Arthur TIME BANDITS: King Arthur TIME BANDITS: King Arthur TIME BANDITS: King Arthur
Sparks Creative play Biscuit Hands Badging Sparks Bear Arms: The March on the armies of Camelot Bliss Balls – Sweet & Savoury

Here ye! Here ye! This be the program for Term 2. Come ye dedicated, come ye curious; Aeoncademy has something for all!

 

From our massive three week Autumnal Adventures sculpture workshop to our focused Autumnal Watercolour class, we’re exploring the artistic potential of a whole range of different materials in that theme. To step outside the attention on Autumn, our Creative Catalyst classes are also launching into Soup Kitchen ceramics, Rarrk Paintings, and Majolica Tiles this term.

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Rarrk painting — an Indigenous Australian style of painting traditionally using grasses, ochre and bark as its medium — is a style that involves delicate hatching of parallel lines and often includes ‘internal’ views of the subject — frequently animals. We’ll be exploring it with Aboriginal stories of Monsters and Mermaids in our Wednesday Drawing and Painting class.

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Our Dramatic Adventures span some new territory this time round, with a focus on more recent events and stories — though we’ll take a deep dive into some ancient Chinese legends in Legendary China: The Sage of Snow-Treasure Peak.From there we’ll leap to the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries with a flurry of stories from the Renaissance, The Age of Exploration (with Buccaneers) and the Dying Days of the Aztec Empire. We’ll also hop around folksy Yorkshire in the Middle Ages with Robin Hood (and his Merrie Men), and out to our shining satellite in Fly Me To The Moon.

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Our Sparks — a number of whom are graduating into our senior programs this term — will be along for the ride every step of the way with explorations of the Carnivale di Venezia, Collaborative Drawing, The Tribes of the Totonac, Aztec style Hot Chocolate, Ceramic Leaves, and much much more.

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We’re all super excited to watch this term roll out. Get in touch to get involved today!

Autumn of Youth: Creativity for Teenagers and Young Adults

Holiday Program

THANK YOU EVERYBODY…

Who got involved in our massive Autumn Program. Our blockbuster program has had us moving from strength to strength with our classic blend of Visual Art, Dramatic Adventure, and Creative Play. We’ve told stories of Ancient Chinese warrior-monks, and of Far Future Smugglers, made art as small as button-badges, and as large as the wall of our Art room, and amongst all that our Sparks have learned massive swathes of new ways to interact with creativity!

As a result of the awesome attendance and engagement this program, Aeoncademy has been able to offer some of our fantastic senior students bigger and better opportunities to develop their skills in artistic and creative practice, as well as some excellent work experience offered to  people who have come up through our ranks of students to join the team.

Aeoncademy has always maintained a serious commitment to extension learning for young people as they come up through the ranks of Aeoncademy, with Vala’s Veteran’s & Training Programme, and Creative Catalyst’s Teenage Art Club, both designed to help train children as they grow into young adults, helping encourage larger and more complex artworks and storytelling techniques.

Coming up through the ranks

Work Experience!

Every child is born an artist, the trouble is staying an artist as you grow up. — Pablo Picasso

Aeoncademy provides increased mentoring and tuition to students as they start to grow up — as the pressures of adolescence start to encourage children to abandon creative play and practice, Aeoncademy steps in to provide a proven guiding network of peers and role models to help them keep their creative spark, well into their teenage years and onwards through to adulthood.

For those students who are dedicated, passionate, and serious about Nurturing the Creative Spark, as they grow older there even open up employment opportunities, helping start these young adults on a path of successful, enjoyable, and fulfilling creative careers.

Today, for example, of all our staff on the floor, eight in eleven have graduated from Aeoncademy, another was a member of our Work Experience program, and one was a founder of the organisation, leaving us with 90 percent of our staff being brought up through the service! We’re super keen to see where we go to next.

Autumn Days of Play are here

Autumn Days of Play are here
A Glorious Autumn tree

Autumn days of play are well and truly here, Yarralumla is always lovely this time of year with its well established oak and plane trees dropping their crunchy, brown leaves all over the ground. Acorns lie plentifully waiting to be gathered and turned into art objects or currency for a game but hopefully not weapons! We intend to make the most of this season of delights.

 

Autumn Days of Play are here, a magical ceramic door leads inside a tree
Magic Door

Many of our Creative Catalyst visual arts workshops like Autumn Weaving with wool and fibre and Leaf Collage + Acorn Sculpture are intended to take advantage of these days. A walk into the forested edges of Yarralumla Primary School will be part of many days activities, gathering materials for the craft and art projects.

 

Autumn Days of Play are here, a sleepy ceramic head
Autumn Dreaming
Autumn Days of Play are here, a stencil of an Autumn Tree
Stencil of an Autumn Tree

Ochre our Catering Coordinator is deciding the menu for the two weeks of holiday programs. From pastas and salads, to baked biscuits and hot chocolates we will always have fresh and healthy options which respond to the weather conditions  of the day!

Autumn16HolhapsRHS
Autumn vacation program

 

 

ValaClub will also be venturing outside to recreate scenes for Merrie Men (and women) of the Greenwood. Look out for classic leaf pile ambushes, pit traps and worse! Many of the dramatic live action scenes will take place in an outdoor setting, enjoying the opportunity to observe the change of seasons.

 

 

 

We are looking forward to the Autumn holidays and catching up with many of you then. Call our office if you havent made a booking yet,  61423268

Autumn Days of Play are here, pebbles and Spirals
Pebbles and Spiral

 

 

 

 

 

The Autumn School Holiday Program!

Our Autumn School Holiday Program has been released with great fanfare at our Aeoncademy Open Day last weekend! Fantastic new and re-visited adventures, art projects, and more are planned to bring in a rich harvest this program.

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In our Creative Catalyst program, we’ve got such new and exciting treats as Tree of Life – exploring Pen and Ink drawing as we travel across the globe looking at the Tree as a symbol of life – from Yggdrasil to the Bodhi Tree, with many unexpected detours along the way, and Vala is bringing back some classic favourites like Aztec Omens – facing signs of doom, whispers and panic begin among the people of the indomitable Aztec Empire, and the priests and nobles of Tenochtitlan must appease the Angry Gods.

With our Sparks we’re introducing Drama Pod! Drama Pod gives our Sparks some new options and agency, helping them choose how to interact with the world in their dramatic storytelling activities. In short, we’re broadening the worlds that we build for the Sparks. No longer are they just going to be playing (say) the Mic-Mac hunters in Norse America, instead taking on roles of villagers, wise-fellows, carpenters, builders, shaman, and so much more. Read more here in Anna’s excellent article.

Interested in the program? Want to find out a little more? Curious about who we are or what we do more broadly? Want the ultimate answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything? give Aeoncademy a call on 6142 3268 or click here to go to our Communications panel – and drop us a line!