Semester One in the Visual Arts department at McKinnon has been full of ideas, enthusiasm and productivity, with plenty of creative and dynamic growth amongst our students and teachers alike. 


It was our great privilege to welcome new teachers Emma Butler, Rebecca Johnson and Jonathan Pertile, all of whom have adapted and thrived, delivering inspired programs to our students and sharing their wealth of professional knowledge with colleagues. We have focused on a truly collaborative approach with our curriculum and have enjoyed implementing our new courses at Year 9 level, making use of the wonderful facilities now available at East Campus.


We were incredibly fortunate to work with highly skilled technician Annalise Bosnjak, who departed McKinnon on Friday 10 June to pursue her own artistic practice in Europe.


We sincerely thank her for the many gallery installs and maintenance; ordering and organisation of store rooms; demonstrations for senior Art students, particularly in the areas of oil painting and printmaking. We wish her all the best!


The tradition of the quarterly student Art competition became firmly cemented in McKinnon culture and our newly minted Visual Arts Captains oversaw the design and management of the Term 2 competition, deciding on the theme of blue and yellow, to allow students to express their solidarity with Ukraine. Stay tuned for a selection of entries and announcement of the winners in early Term 3. 


Our junior artists engaged in a variety of projects including lino printing, landscape painting, pop art painting and hand-built ceramics inspired by Japanese Kawaii culture.  


Designers at Year 8 level explored the fields of Communication and Industrial design with the development of alphabet flashcards for children, as well as learning the precise skill of Isometric drawing. They also built practical construction skills, assembling intricate sculptures with found natural materials to replicate the forms and textures of Coral. 


Year 9 Artists went behind the scenes to experience life as a gallery curator, working collaboratively to create a retrospective exhibition for an Australian Artist of their choosing. Critical Visual Literacy students were introduced to the science behind advertising with a unit on the Gestalt principles of visual perception and the concepts of social and classical conditioning. Designers at Year 9 polished their software skills using ProCreate and Adobe Illustrator to develop quirky sticker designs and produce vector art inspired by the colours, textures and patterns of beautiful birds. Sculptors installed the work of KAWS around East campus using Augmented Reality and tinkered with 3D Printing, producing KAWS inspired characters.


Artists at Year 10 took a deep dive into the world of myths and legends and heightened their awareness of colour and tone with three-colour reduction lino prints. Ceramicists were inspired by the local neighbourhood to create functional, decorative planters and extended their technical skills with detailed busts.

Ceramic busts
Ceramic busts
Myths and Legends
Myths and Legends

VCE Students across all subjects in the Visual Arts have spent the majority of Term 2 engaged in folio work, showcasing their practical skills whilst simultaneously working on their organisational and time management skills in the completion of an extended task. 

VCE Folio work
VCE Folio work

Our senior artists also enjoyed multiple excursions to the NGV, taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy Art up close and personal. This was such a rewarding experience for students and teachers, affirming our place as artists in the wider world and introducing many to our public gallery for the first time. 

Senior excursions
Senior excursions

We would like to acknowledge the hard work thus far of our Units 3/4 students on their SAT Folios in Media, Studio Arts and Visual Communication and Design and wish them well on their semester break, which we hope is both restful AND productive…. Remember those due dates and exams will come around quicker than you realise!  


Jessica Rogosic & Peter Eglezos

Visual Arts Learning Area Managers


Around Term 3 last year, my Media teacher in Year 10, Ms Bertsa, sent to the class a list of upcoming short movie competitions. I decided to give it a go by participating in the Nextwave Youth Film Festival competition, which is part of the Screenwave International Film Festival. 


The short film had to be a maximum of four minutes in duration. The short film festival centred on the theme of ‘pineapple’. A pineapple had to be included in the film in any way (a real pineapple or a representation of a pineapple).


I decided to do a short horror/comedy movie about a boy confronted by a mischievous killer pineapple spooking him in his house. I named my short movie ‘Ananas’, which means pineapple in French and my younger brother, Oscar, played the role of the boy.


I was selected as a finalist for the Nextwave Youth Film Festival and this was a great surprise!


I was invited to attend the awards ceremony on the 1st of May 2022 in Coffs Harbour. Although I did not receive an award, it was a wonderful and unique experience.

I was able to attend workshops with some people from the film industry, such as Ben Lawrence, director of ‘Ithaka’, ‘Ghosthunter’ and ‘Hearts and Bones’ (which starred Hugo Weaving). I also saw Nerida Groth on a panel which was about the many jobs in the film industry and advice for future filmmakers. Nerida Groth was the second second assistant director of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ and ‘Aquaman’.


I also had the opportunity to meet other finalists and work together in a group to make a video which lasted for approximately thirty seconds.


We were presented with the concept of the Soviet Montage Theory. This includes the idea of how two clips can create a third meaning to an audience. For example, we were shown a man with a neutral expression and then a plate of food, giving us the idea that he was hungry. Then, we saw the same man except the second clip was a grave. This presented the idea that he was grieving and so our task was to recreate this concept in a group of three.


We also had our short films screened on the big screen at the CHEC Theatre within the Coffs Harbour Education Campus. It was amazing!

Hugo Tran
Hugo Tran

Hugo Tran

Year 11 Student