The organisation of this year's Year 10 Arts Week had to be revised considerably from previous years due to the unpredictable nature of the way things can change.
This year we decided to have all the activities on-site at the college, the program was also affected by the unavailability of outside providers coming on-site for a variety of reasons. All of this culminated in the reluctant decision to replace the dance component with another program, the silver lining to this was a very strong and engaging Digitech activity that was taught by Troy Shoebridge.
Visual Art: Glen Clark led the students through a very absorbing and productive activity of Oamaru stone carving based in the college 1st 1V changing rooms. Once the introduction of the technique and Kōwhaiwhai were explained the students very eagerly set to work by firstly drawing the patterns on, then chiselling, rasping and finally sanding their individual pieces.
The fact that only three pieces were left behind at the end of the week speaks volumes about how much the students enjoyed the activity and how proud they are of what they achieved. If you receive a heavy and hard shape in gift wrapping on Christmas day then you can probably guess what it is.
Drama: For the Year 10 Arts Week Drama programme students are incredibly lucky to have Lara Macgregor (professional actor, director, dramaturg, photographer, and performance coach), working with them in-house on acting and voice for film. Lara has a number of impressive theatre, film, and TV credits under her belt, including Artistic Director of the Fortune Theatre, a role in the NZ film This Town, and most recently as Sgt Gillian Carmichael in the American/Australian Netflix series, Clickbait. Lara took students through three separate sessions over the day, including acting for commercials and auditioning on camera doing “cold reading”, an Automated dialogue replacement (ADR) session (recording the voiceover and sound effects for a short animated film), as well as focussing on script work in small groups in our final session. A huge thank you to Lara for finding the time to fit us into her busy theatre/film/TV/Photography schedule for the week!
Music: Our music activity this year had a few last-minute changes, and ended up as an on-site recording project led by Mr McNulty and Mr Milne. Each class was split into 3 groups who each chose their own song to learn, rehearse and record throughout the day. Song choices were varied all the way from the Kiwi favourite ‘Wagon Wheel’ by Darius Rucker, to ‘Never Gonna Give You Up' by Rick Astley, through to the viral punk hit ‘I’m On Smoko’ by The Chats. For many students without much musical experience, this provided a big challenge and they learned a number of technical skills that allowed them to still record a part for their group in such a short space of time. After practising their parts, they were given workshops on techniques to record drum, guitar/bass and vocals, and each group member layered their recorded part one at a time in Garageband. We hope they all had a great experience and learnt some new skills along the way!
Digital Art: Digital Art was a new area that students had the opportunity to explore during arts week in 2021. The boys’ were exposed to the artwork of Kelcy Taratoa and prompted/inspired to create graphic images in the same general style. The students were introduced to the features of a graphics editing program (in this case GIMP) and the features that allow the manipulation of images from cutting, erasing, cropping and layering through to colour balancing, hues and saturation. This allowed students to combine multiple images into a single printable image conveying a theme.
Their takes on “Being a Dunedin teenager in 2021” certainly were very mixed and in some cases quite stunning. It was a busy week, but the boys rose to the challenge of learning something new (Graphics editing) in a short period of time and creating memorable pieces of visual art.
Peninsula trip on Friday - Matua Nick Price led a very informative and memorable trip to the peninsula on our final day, we are very fortunate that Nick was able to take time out of his busy schedule to deliver a series of pre-European stories that relate to the two locations we visit on the day. The beginning of the story starts at the Pyramids near Victory beach and concludes at Pilots beach near Taiaroa head, the students also learnt about other aspects of the locations we were in from talks by Mr Jones & Mr Clark.
This year we had a bonus to the experience when two Yellow Eyed Penguin rangers turned up as they were clearing traps, they very graciously delivered a fascinating speech about the work of the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust and related stories.
Huge thanks to the PFA for supporting this vibrant arts week.