Fiona Gibson / Head of Creative Arts Program - Junior School
I encourage the girls to take risks with their ideas
Fiona Gibson joined Camberwell Girls in 1997 as a Junior School classroom teacher. A passionate artist and longtime creative, Fiona recalls growing up in a family that always took her to galleries and art show openings.
“My parents were really into art, sculpture, architecture, gardening, jewellery and photography. I very quickly developed an interest in the same things and learnt to appreciate the beauty in everyday life,”
After 17 years of classroom teaching, just two years ago the school decided to move Fiona from her Prep Classroom to the Discovery Centre, where she now heads up our Junior School Creative Arts Program. We haven’t looked back and nor has Fiona.
You only have to step foot inside the Junior School and you soon notice the impact that Fiona is having on our students. Beautiful creations, anything from sculpture to paintings and drawings to ceramics adorn the walls, columns, bookshelves
and locker areas. Fiona has truly created a sea of colour and a culture of creativity at Ormiston.
Fiona believes her role is really to inspire the students and that, she does!
“I want the girls to develop risk taking with their ideas and I want them to experiment with different styles, materials and techniques. I endeavour to always provide open-ended and challenging tasks so that they never tire of wanting to create,” says Fiona with a big smile.
Fiona believes that gaining an understanding of artists the world over, their artworks and their style, as well as art through the ages is also important.
“I particularly love Indigenous artists and my favourites would have to be Emily Pwerle, Bombatu Napangati and Betty Mbitjana. I love the colours and patterns but more importantly, the stories and strong connections that their pieces have to their culture,” says Fiona.
She also loves French poster maker, Bernard Villemot because of his simple, elegant lines and clever use of space and bold colours.
From classroom teacher to art teacher, Fiona very quickly discovered just how different the two roles are.
“I love working with students of all ages and from every class within the School. The girls always arrive at the Discovery Centre in a happy and joyous mood and this mood is only amplified during the lesson. Every day is different and quite often messy. It wouldn’t be a good day if I didn’t end up with paint on me.”
Fiona’s inspiration comes from everywhere – books, magazines, online, nature, galleries, television, fashion and life in general.
“Sometimes I’ll just come up with an idea, explain it to the students and we all just see where it goes and what happens. Creativity is about turning the ordinary into something extraordinary and you’re that bit closer to getting there if you just try,” she says.
We couldn’t agree more Fiona – so please don’t stop inspiring our Camberwell girls to be creative.