i. Visual Arts
Skills for visual expression are best cultivated when students are encouraged to approach their work with unbridled curiosity, creativity, and a flexible mind.
Students discover that they are artists in a wide variety of ways – in introductory arts workshops and painting and drawing classes, in the ceramics classes and the dark room. The Visual Arts Centre at Saraf Public School houses facilities, designed to nurture creativity in the budding artist.
As they investigate the basic techniques necessary to give artistic form to an idea, students also learn to understand visual art in relation to other disciplines – science, mathematics, literature, history, technology, and music. Regardless of their artistic abilities, every student gets the opportunity to personally experience, recognize, and appreciate the beauty of a line, the power of a brushstroke, and the harmony inherent in a well-formed bowl.
Visual Arts Centre brims with the works of young visual artists. Within these rooms at the centre, painters learn to use light, composition, and colour theory to improve their pieces. Ceramicists draw on the traditions of ancient Indian art, and contemporary periods as they learn how to turn clay into pottery. The drawing students explore the study of line, value, shape, and the illusion of depth, developing the techniques that help make drawn objects look real.
Students of all classes are provided with the opportunity to work across a broad range of processes, exploring the full potential of ceramic applications and sculptural techniques. The skills of making and thinking develop into exciting possibilities. Introducing students to a range of hand-built clay techniques, the school will be offering mould-making and slip-casting with precious materials like porcelain while more robust materials such as plaster are pushed beyond their conventional boundaries to suit the needs of individual students.
Work ranges from exquisite low key installations to vibrant and expressive mixed media. Observation remains at the root of all three dimensional work produced in the department.
Drawing is at the heart of all that we do in the Visual Arts Centre and in particular, drawing from direct observation. This invariably forms the basis of all projects from Class III through to the Class XII and provides students with a first point of contact with their subject matter. Drawings can be made in many different ways and students employ a wide range of media. Of course drawings need not be made to serve an investigative or explanatory function as reference for further work; they can be works of art in their own right.
The paintings produced in the Visual Arts Centre encompass a wide range of approaches and functions from small, meticulously observed and finely wrought watercolour paintings to expressive mark making explorations using industrial materials that defy any category. A wide range of painting media is employed including watercolour, pastels, gouache, acrylic, oils and household paint – sometimes in exciting combinations. Students are encouraged to develop independent and personal work through experimentation with a wide range of materials.
The Visual Arts Centre holds two major exhibitions of students’ work each year. The first, held in the first term, is an exhibition of ‘Work in Progress’ by students. This is an opportunity for each student to showcase their examination submissions, and gives parents, staff and faculty a chance to see what is involved in an examination project.
The exhibition in the second term comprises a selection of work produced by students across the age range at the Saraf Public School. With an eclectic mix of drawing, painting and three dimensional work as well as huge array sketchbooks, it showcases the full diversity of what goes on in the Visual Arts Centre.