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Thursday, 24 June 2021

Exciting self-portraits by students

RESOURCEFUL: Exciting self-portraits by Bachelor of Education Intermediate Phase second-year students display skill and innovative responses to art material shortages. RESOURCEFUL: Exciting self-portraits by Bachelor of Education Intermediate Phase second-year students display skill and innovative responses to art material shortages.

Remote teaching and learning bring many challenges to students, but for a group of 118 Bachelor of Education Intermediate Phase second-year students, not having access to art materials on campus, resulted in them’ finding creative ways to produce exciting self-portraits.

Art Department Lecturer at Wellington campus, Kobie Meiring says the focus of the: “Who am I” - Self Portraits by B ED 2 Intermediate Phase students project was on the development of creativity and self-expression and on exposure to the use of recycled materials, or materials found in nature. Meiring notes that students made use of coffee, sand, leaves and a variety of everyday materials available to them at home. “The portraits are proof of their willingness to take on challenges and willingness to explore beyond the usual art room materials,” Meiring enthuses.

Student, Gene Mannel reflects on the project: “I learned that art is literally everywhere around us and that anything can be used to create art with. We just have to look around us and move outside the box. I am amazed at how wonderful coffee works as a substitute for paint or ink.”

The students found the process of making art on their own rewarding: “I found that getting absorbed in making the portrait gives a welcome break from the constant feeling of pressure. Although, for most students, working in isolation is not what they would prefer, working with my peers in contact classes, would have been more inspiring. It is difficult to give your best while working in isolation,” Genel continues.

Despite these difficulties, Meiring believes the students delivered excellent work.  “And I hope that these inspiring visual products will encourage self-confidence in their creative potential,” says Meiring.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce