Creativity in the bush

The Year 10 art group spent the first part of their week in Tasmania discovering Bruny Island, creating works using only materials from the natural environment and reconsidering waste.

Using Andy Goldsworthy as their muse, and making patterns and art through the materials they found, students developed a greater appreciation and respect for the environment.

“Goldsworthy is a naturalist who’s inspired by all aspects of the natural world,” IGS Visual Arts Teacher Annie Phillips said.


“We wanted to make art without the use of any man-made materials, bringing about a focus on waste as well as appreciation for the environment.”

This process proved to be an enlightening one for the students.


“Being immersed in this natural world, I’ve definitely become more conscious of my approach to the environment,” said Bianca Kotoulas.

“Seeing a drink bottle left along the pristine coastline here, you really notice it, and it just looks so wrong.”

Students enjoyed painting, drawing and making sculptures in deep serenity beside the coast and in the bushland.


“They really enjoyed being off the grid. Not being able to have any technology encouraged them to form more of a team, which has now become a family,” Ms Phillips said.


“Goldsworthy’s works are short-lived, to show that all natural elements are destined to change over time.

“We explored colours, movement, change, textures, light, growth and decay in different environments here in Tasmania.


Aside from art-making, the group enjoyed visiting a berry farm, cheese factory, chocolate factory, oyster farm and a boat ride, as well as testing their physical limits in an enduring hike.

“I didn’t expect our trip to be this into nature, which was actually a really pleasant surprise,” said Hugo Mendoza.

“We’ve seen so many beautiful sites and landscapes. The lighthouse on Bruny Island was definitely my favourite.”


Absorbing all that their natural surroundings had to offer, the group’s Outdoor Education Group (OEG) leader Chris took them into a rainforest, where students had to find a natural object and then talk about why they had picked it.

“This really got the students thinking about their surroundings, and making further observations,” Ms Phillips said.

The group also saw plenty of wildlife in their travels.

“We also got to observe the cycle of life for the animals here,” Bianca said. “We found some animal bones in the bush. It was interesting to observe both the good and the sad – animals’ lives flourishing but also deterioration.”


Upon their return to Hobart, the students enjoyed reflecting on their creations in the historic suburb of Battery Point.

“We’ve had so many fun experiences bonding together,” Eva Workman said.

“We also chatted to many locals and learnt different details about our surroundings through the people we came across on our travels.

“It’s been the most unreal, and unbelievable experience.”


The group finished the week with a visit to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) to further their artistic interests and expand their creative minds with various art forms.

For their extended piece of work, students were to submit a critical response, to explain how their art making processes and products reflected an ecocritical approach to understanding and representing nature on Bruny Island. Below are some examples of students’ works: