Experiments With Light

Experiments With Light

‘It was hands on and practical and really rather fun!’

‘Relaxed interactive professional’

 ‘I have so many ideas and am so excited’

Comments made by participants at the Experiments with Light primary teacher’s workshop at Te Papa last week.

This cross-curricular workshop introduced teachers to artist Bill Culbert (currently showing in the New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Biennale) and included lots of hands-on art and science activities exploring the properties of light.

When Bill Culbert was a student at HuttValleyHigh school, he was inspired by participating in a giant camera obscura experiment. Scott Ogilvie and I treated teachers to a similar experience by turning Te Papa’s classroom into a giant camera obscura, and taught teachers how to make portable camera obscura’s they could take back to school.

making camera obscura  looking through camera obscura

Bill has explored a fascination with light for decades in his work, using it as both subject and medium. We taught teachers about some of the properties of light, and showed them ways of experimenting with kaleidoscopes, periscopes and creating light sculptures.

building light sculptures building light sculptures 3 building light sculptures 4

This workshop was organised as a result of a partnership between Creative New Zealand and Te Papa and forms part of the education programme for Bill Culbert’s Venice Biennale exhibition Front Door Out Back.

Two education resources developed for teachers inspired by this exhibition are now available online.

Experiments with Light is a primary teacher’s resource which introduces Bill Culbert’s work, accompanied by lots of hands-on art and science activities exploring the properties of light suitable for primary and intermediate students.

Art in Context is a secondary teacher’s resource which introduces Bill Culberts work with a focus on the way his sculptures respond to particular contexts. It includes a sculpture project brief for visual art students, a sculpture trail along the Wellington waterfront and worksheets for art history students studying art in context.


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