Critical Art Theme Conceptualisation

art that can be described as being located at the edge of what is possible”

Unique offering

The unique offering of the Mining an Art Theme workshops and session is to work hand in hand with the art teacher of the school and the Grade 10 to 12 art students. To enable art students to achieve their potential by providing the tools to become independent thinkers and harness their creativity, develop innovation, and cultivate critical thinking and problem solving skills . In line with international Visual Arts standards, these sessions  cover a broad field of art as healing techniques that involves the intellectualizing and reflection of  aesthetic, conceptual and expressive concerns of each individual student .The success of these sessions is when the art teacher assist with a brief on the outcomes expected on an academic level, prior learning of the art students, technical competency , character outline of student and the art theme that needs to be conceptualize on a deeper level than just finding an acceptable solution.  

Focus areas

The main focus is to assist the students with the full involvement of the art teacher to:

•          to tear open new ideas when thinking about an art theme;

•          to explore new avenues of exploring an art theme by pushing the art student to investigate the unknown

•          To assist the art student to enter a free-mind zone and think about how space affects you but also how space can assist in thinking on a deeper level.

•          To push their current concept development of an art theme to a place that can result in some profound discoveries and metamorphoses

Case study and success rate

The success rate of previous workshops and sessions showed how the art as healing techniques that are used with the art student assist them to a level of deeper thinking and conceptualization. 

As a case study the art students of Pecanwood College in Hartbeespoortdam worked with us for three years from grade 10 to 12 (2017-2019) . Various one day workshops were presented to the students in conjunction with a close relationship with the art teacher and the focus areas varied from:

  • moving from memory to the senses
  • To experience the internal space between mind and body.
  •  Explore the visible and the invisible, which is symbolic of the mind-body relationship and physical space
  • Using the concept of a mandala to explore an art theme
  • Investigating words, symbol, metaphor, image and sign that the art students chose to work with and also that reflects on their emotions, culture, environment, history and memories.
  • Reflecting on the words, symbols, metaphor, image and signs within the own existing concept of an art theme.
  • Exploring deeper layers of thinking, creating a metamorphosis -pushing their concept into a new space of thinking
  • To work within a non-directive, free-association way of exploring the art theme

Academic achievements of art students

By collaborating with the art teacher and by presenting various sessions with the art students, the students worked with us for three years developing and conceptualizing their art themes. This assisted them in understanding and developing the art process and concept of their artworks on a deeper level, as well as to assist the documentation process of the concepts in their art journals.  

Over the last three years the average of art students at Pecanwood College was 83.3%, 10% higher than the national IEB rate. The art students averaged 7 to 8, A +, distinctions. In the 2019 two of the matric art students that have worked with us since Grade 10, marked within the top 1%, nationally in Art as a subject.

By working with these students we managed in collaboration with the art teacher to create artworks for examination purposes that were on a very high level of:

  • Lateral thinking and conceptual excellence
  • Technical high level of proficiency
  • Excellent execution of artworks
  • Deep levels of observation 

Example of the documenting an art theme and conceptualizing a process. Credit: Boipelo Shai (a top 1% student in Visual Art from Pecanwood College). This is an example (just a few images) of how her concept was developed and documented as well as showing how the interventions of art as healing assisted in a deeper level of thinking and conceptualisation.