Year 9 Visual Art students recently visited the SA Art Gallery to engage with and respond to the exhibition, ‘Frida & Diego; Love & Revolution’. Students responded to the work of iconic Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. A guided tour introduced their art and politics, and their influence on artistic and cultural change in Mexico from the 1920s to the 1950s.
It was pleasing to see students engaging with the exhibition and gaining an understanding of the artists' connections to culture, love, politics and art, as well as the fusion of traditional Mexican folk art symbolism and the mid-20th century international modernist movement. The topic supports our current unit of study and leads to students creating their own photographic and painted works.
Students explored the use of symbolism and surreal imagery to tell a personal story, especially Frida’s exploration of her personal experiences, pain and cultural identity depicted in her art. Their appreciation was enriched by the tour guides whose in-depth information, descriptions and personal insights added to our learning.
A number of students were fascinated by Frida Kahlo's Self-portrait with Monkeys, (1943), with its rich use of symbolism and its surrealist elements. They discovered that the monkeys are a representation of children and her inner thoughts and feelings of the artist.
The exhibition was not only informative but also sparked students’ curiosity and fostered a deeper appreciation of how art reflects the socio-political context of twentieth-century Mexico.
Each Year 9 Art class is to be commended for their conduct during the excursion.
Terri Moore & Amy Thornton
Visual Art Teachers