Shock of the New - Art Exhibition by Visual Arts Students

On 26 March DP2 Visual Arts students presented their artworks to their fellow students, teachers and the entire community. The cultural event gathered people from Dilijan, neighbouring towns and even attracted guests from the capital, Yerevan. For two years straight, these 25 students have been working hard in the sunlit art studies on the third floor.

The artworks included paintings and sculptures, with many artists using mixed-media, combining different materials in their art installations. Some of the participants showcased their clothing lines: Petar (Croatia, UWCD'17) presented several gowns with hand inscribed details, and Mungo (Malawi) showed off his clothing line – a mélange of western cut and African patterns.

Denise Davidson, Head of College, mentioned in her opening speech that she “has been watching how this exhibition was evolving; how a piece of paper was becoming a work of art”, and that witnessing this exhibition, all ready and set, makes her immensely proud. The museum took place at the Art Gallery of Dilijan, where the DP2 students themselves arranged the exhibits and decorated their booths. For two weeks before the opening day one could see dozens of paintings floating in the balconies and passages around the college; elements of installations were scattered in the atrium, promising that there would be something wonderful waiting for the guests on 26 March.

“We came here knowing hardly anything about creating art; and now, when you walk around the exhibits,
you can see what a long way we have come”.

On the long-anticipated day, after opening words of gratitude and appreciation had been given, the artists invited their guests to stroll around the gallery, where each of them had created a universe of their own, luring one in to take a closer look. All the artworks stood out through their individual style, unique approach and by the variety of techniques used to reflect the idea behind the work.

Thawdar (Myanmar) created a work called “Scorching Eternity” – a mini terrarium in a light bulb surrounded with a box with different symbols. This work showed how the Earth is being destroyed by humans – pollution, hunting, war, deforestation and toxic waste.

Mariam’s (Armenia) artwork consisted of 6 parts, introducing Armenian ornaments created using the technique of acrylic monoprints*.

In each of their works, the students experimented with patterns, colours, challenged conventional techniques and even invented their own language to present their art concepts. The latter concerns Cathal (UK), who created massive pieces of art, with inherent symbolism and abstract means of expression.

Students used their art to address topical issues such as feminism, sustainability and their attitude towards global conflicts. In their works, they explored the human form and human nature; most of all, however, they tried to express themselves – whether it be through pain, through finding the beauty of the world or through looking deeper in their personality.

While showcasing the works is an IB requirement, after which the works will be assessed, this is the second year that the UWC Dilijan students have turned their exam into a cultural event in the life of Dilijan.

*Monoprinting is a form of printmaking that has lines or images that can only be made once, unlike most printmaking, where there are multiple originals.