Just like the humpback whale, an endangered species struggling to survive in the ocean, Ripple symbolises the sustainability and survival of Art as a subject within schools. It is a visual reflection of how art students have to adapt in order to thrive in this dynamic and uncertain world. Continue reading to find out more about the artists’ inspirations and process.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
STAR: Ripple is of an impressive scale. What were some challenges encountered when creating the work? How did the team work collaboratively to overcome the challenges?
The Artists: The team faced time and space constraints when working on Ripple. Because of our busy teaching schedules, CCA and school commitments, we struggled to find time to come together to create the artwork. Wrapping Ripple with white glue and white cloth proved to be a long and labour-intensive process which took a few weeks, as we needed to wrap it with 3 to 4 layers of cloth. Due to its enormous scale, we had to work outside the art room as the artwork was taking up a lot of classroom space.
As it was difficult to find a common time slot in between lessons, the team worked on Ripple after school. If anyone is free, they will start on the artwork first. The team also delegated work to its team members. For instance, some were tasked to mix the white glue and reinforce the wiring of the sculpture. Others were tasked to cut and mask the sculpture with cloth.
STAR: Do you think the status and role of art has changed in contemporary society? In your opinion, what does the future hold for art and art education?
The Artists: In the contemporary age, art has a bigger role to play in educating people. Art no longer consists of only studio practice and artwork appreciation – it creates critical thinkers and problem solvers, equipping students with 21st century skills to navigate in an ever-changing global society. As art educators, it is our belief that innovation and creativity go hand in hand. These qualities will solve the problems of today and the future. Our current and future students need to be prepared with new solutions to both old and new problems.
STAR: Would you encourage fellow art colleagues to collaborate ? Why so? What did collaboration bring to the artwork that could not be achieved working individually?
The Artists: Yes, we strongly encourage our fellow art colleagues to collaborate! Art brings people together. Through our collaborative effort in making Ripple, we created a bond and it improved our communication skills within the Art Unit. Besides that, we were able to expand our ideas with one another. Lastly, our social capital grew as we were able to expand our network within the art fraternity.