Category Archives: Creative Catalyst

Creative Catalyst

Creative Catalyst opens the doors to the wide world of visual art for participants aged 7 years +.  With students as old as 16 it features a wonderful multi-aged learning experience using a broad range of art materials and techniques to explore and enjoy. There are great opportunities for older students to participate in extension programs and develop their own projects.

Features creative modalities spanning the Visual Arts:

Themed workshop projects are selected from an astounding repertoire developed by Artist and Artistic Director Teffany Thiedeman and the Creative Catalyst collaboration of Canberra visual artists.

Emphasising inspiration, imagination, adaptability and positivity the Creative Catalyst approach is a hallmark of Canberra as the creative capital with the future of our nation’s bright sparks in mind.

Explore our range of workshops by clicking here.

Christmas Crafts Workshops

Christmas Ornaments

In the face of impending Christmas mayhem it’s time to take a deep, mindful breath and start crafting! At Aeoncademy kids get to replace stressful last minute Christmas gift shopping with relaxing and artful gift making. They can select to create beautiful Bees Wax Cloth Wraps,  perfect Pomanders and Painted Calico Bags through to magnificent Macramé Bead Hangings and stylish Stencilled Tea Towels. To satisfy those Christmas cravings students have edible gifts to make; from heavenly Herbal Vinegars and gourmet Bliss Balls to scrumptious Shortbreads in Saucers.

Watercolour Baubles

To celebrate the festive season  we will be making some heart warming, hand crafted decorations too, including Watercolour Baubles, Herbal Wreaths and Air-dry Clay  Ornaments. Finally to wrap up these Christmas Craft Workshops kid’s will make their own stamped, dip dyed, printed and painted wrapping papers and cards.

Viking Ships

Viking longboats, Celtic coracles, Aboriginal ‘nawi’ canoes and Inuit kayaks are all inspiration for this workshop. Sail away from pots and turn your hands to the time honoured craft of sea faring vessels.

Viking Ships
Viking Longboat 800CE Oslo Museum

Embark on this sculptural, hand-building, Ceramics workshop using slabs, coils and carving techniques to build a unique watercraft that incorporates figurative, surface decoration and armoury elements.

Viking Ships

Add a figurehead, a mast, some oars or shields to your ship then bring it to life with coloured underglazes and sgraffito line work. Pieces will be fired with a final clear glaze layer.

Viking Ships

Liquid Landscapes

Capture the movement of texture and light across a landscape to create a luminous watercolour painting in this Creative Catalyst watercolour painting workshop.

Albert Namatjira

Drawing inspiration from an array of wonderful Australian landscape artists: Albert Namatjira, Hans Heysen, Penleigh Boyd and Arthur Streeton, we’ll learn how to manipulate colour transparency, intensity and temperature to make our scenes come to life.

The fluidity and smoothness of the watercolour medium is particularly suited to subjects like the sea, stream and sky. Students will spend the morning sketching and painting in ‘plein air’ to capture a little of Yarralumla’s lakeside setting, then head inside for an afternoon of painting a landscape of their own design at their easels.

Arthur Streeton

Examples of Australian landscape artist’s work will open students to wonder at the quality of light watercolour can create. A quick, small watercolour sketch using a monochrome palette where we will trial the wet on wet technique will prepare students for a trip outside to sketch and paint in ‘plein air’ down on the oval.

Marion Mahony Griffin's Canberra
Marion Mahony Griffin’s Canberra

We’ll discuss and learn about the history of early landscape painting in Australia that saw artists struggling to capture the ‘alien’ quality of the Australian light until the late 1800’s and the establishment of the Heidelberg school which deliberately embraced the raw and unique landscape before them.

Masks of the World

Take a look at Masks from all over the World. Sketch and design your mask and then make a small model- is it Friend or Foe? Horns, teeth, scars, scales or fur? This mixed media art workshop utilises paper sculpture, some paper mache, cutting, assembling.

Most masks have exaggerated features which can make them quite scary to look at. Huge eyes, mouths and teeth. What features do you want to create to bring your mask to life?

Masks of the World
Sri Lankan Demon Mask

Masks are a way to create impossible creatures with both animal and human characteristics, and different cultures believe these masks give the wearer special abilities like the ability to talk to spirits or animals. There are famous traditions from around the world like the Chinese Dragon Dance which has a special dragon head mask to usher in the New Year.

Chinese New Year Dragon

These large puppets need more than one person inside to perform all the dancing, eye rolling, ear waggling and mouth snapping.

Dreaming Mask from Papua New Guinea
Dreaming Mask from Papua New Guinea

Masks have been inspiring artists forever. The mask examples above have been part of tradition for hundreds (or thousands!) of years. We don’t usually get to make or wear masks except for dress-ups or a party. Instead of going to a shop in the mall in the 21st century and buying a lame, cheap plastic mask to be Batman or Catwoman reach back into the past and channel the original mask makers!

Dinner on a Plate

Don’t play with your food! Unless you make it yourself…What do you want to make for dinner? Spag bol? Brussel Sprouts and chips? Chicken curry and rice? Build and fire your own clay creations onto ceramic plates to make a delicious permanent dinner.

We are going to use texture, shape and colour to recreate our favourite foods out of clay. 

 

Celtic Labyrinth Drawing

Create a virtual world full of myth and mystery within a timeless Celtic knot or labyrinth drawing. Explore the intricacies of Celtic symbolism and incorporate some legendary creatures or sacred script into your own unique masterwork.

The classic Celtic labyrinth has one path that winds around to a central point then back outward. Dating back 4000 years it has been used as a meditative tool designed to help it’s travellers release burdens on the way to the centre and then accept what they most need on the way out .

Lizards by MC Escher

Students can draw inspiration from modern artists such as Escher as well as computer generated fractal images which also share intricate, continuous pattern work.  

Passion by 12GO

Catalyst students will weave their own path in ink, graphite or pastel incorporating many design elements along the way. Trace a journey through pattern, line and form following the ancient druids to a centre full of iconic imagery highlighted with some gilding.

Mega Collage (Palimpsest)

Palimpsest – ‘a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed. Something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form’

Palimpsest Richard Pousette-Dart 1944 Abstract Expressionism

This is a Mega Collage involving drawing, rubbing, transferring, cutting, painting and assembling. It investigates the differences between and possible combinations of abstract and representational art, using a mix of mediums and visual elements.

ANFITRITE by Henri Matisse gouache on paper cut and pasted 1947

Over a series of exercises colour, shape, balance and context will be explored. Cutting and reassembling images from glossy magazines can also be used to add to each student’s diverse collection of textures, details and surfaces which will be brought together to build large compositions, both individually and collectively, over a full day of creative and experimental art making.

A portrait by Picasso made with collage

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Avian Animalia

Avian Animalia
Egyptian Falcon God Horus

A celebration of our magnificent feathered friends this ceramics workshop explores the many forms birdlife can take – from small, sweet songbirds to fast, fierce and fabulous falcons. Inspired by the beauty of birds students will learn techniques to build their forms and express their grace.

Avian Animalia
‘Bird in Space’ 1928 Constantin Brancusi

We will look at examples of bird sculptures across cultures and time and be inspired by the beautifully detailed work of ornithological illustrators. Participants will then choose an ave to focus on and begin sculpting it in white,  earthenware clay.

Avian Animalia
John James Audubon – Carolina Parrot

Starting with little models to work out scale, shape and possible textures for surface treatment the class will then learn larger, hand building construction techniques to build their chosen bird/s. These figures will be glazed minimally to highlight major features and then be fired in a kiln.

Spring Alcoves

Alcove, niche or shrine. These concepts are the inspiration for a handbuilding ceramic workshop that incorporates modelling, installation and structure building. Shrines are found in many of the world’s religions- Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto as well as secular settings like War Memorials, places of natural beauty and even Pooh Corner on the Clyde!

Spring Alcoves
Iranian Silk Rug

Investigate different motifs, shapes and symbols and produce a little shrine of your own. Get ready for the change in seasons by focussing on natural features like plants, stones, water and animals.

Spring Alcoves
Madonna and Child Medieval Europe

Learn and hone clay building techniques using coils, slabs and carving, then decorate your structure using stamp work, fine coil relief and figure sculpting. Finish your alcove with painted underglazes and some gold glaze highlights.

 

Wearable Art

Have a go at badge making, belt buckle creation, macrame and more. No need to leave your art at home ever again!

Scarf/Bandana fabric painting

Art jewellery and costuming has been an essential part of all cultures, communicating both meaning and value. Since pre-history, the more intricate, ornate or specific the design and the rarer, richer or more prized the material, the greater a person’s status or role has been. From head dresses and crowns, to richly embroidered, beaded and painted cloaks. From elaborate tattoos, to priceless jewels, humans have always appreciated a bit of ‘Bling’.

Shrinky Brooch

Art you can wear is both decorative and expressive and can tell us something of the person doing the wearing! From a detailed art badge, hand crafted ‘shrinky’ brooch and macramed stone pendants, to a beautifully painted cotton bandana/scarf, this workshop offers many forms through which your art can shine.

Macrame Pendant

Drawing inspiration from the decorative traditions of jewellery making and fashion design, students will plan their wearable art pieces of choice, learning new skills such as macrame weaving and fabric painting, whilst refining others such as detailed drawing, to create a variety of decorative art pieces.

Shrinky Brooch