Writing Teachers – Kilgour Prize at Newcastle Art Gallery

Unfortunately, the ETA Writing Teachers meeting set down for Saturday, August 25, has been cancelled. Here you will find an image of the artwork and activities that would have taken place.

Peter Lankas’ Winter swim, 2018 (40 by 50 cm) hangs at Newcastle Art Gallery as a finalist for the Kilgour Prize for Figurative and Portrait Painting 2018.

From the gallery’s exhibition notes, Lankas states:

This work continues my fascination with the ordinary and the everyday. A narrative which comes from my interaction with suburban surroundings and becomes embedded in an atmospheric moment, concerned with light, colour, movement and a sense of place, often an action taking place, which is subtly layered with personal or social elements of that time. Most of my work is executed ‘alla prima’, completed in one session to capture a moment and not get caught up in unnecessary changes, refinement or detail which for me, lose the initial energy, mood or concept felt. The Winter swim captures a windy, crisp, light saturated night at Merewether baths, with the figure ready to test the water temperature, contemplating a swim. I have always loved the haunting beauty of winter night swims with a sense of mystery, drama and danger of the night ocean experienced in total safety of the baths.

All recent work is painted with studio made paint, using simple ingredients of the early Masters, a method of oil painting where no solvents, dryers, varnishes and modern chemicals are used in the painting process, only natural ingredients of organic oils, pigments, chalk and egg-white.

Over the two hour writing workshop, begin by spending time looking at the work and considering any emotions that the image provokes.

Use each of the following writing prompts:

  • Gathering words and ideas
    • Two minutes for each section – quickly list anything you can see
    • Two minutes to describe what you have listed
    • One minute to consider whether anything in the artwork makes you remember something
  • Sensing imagining voicing
    • Five minutes to note anything that comes to mind for each of the five senses
    • Two minutes to imagine where this is, what could never happen here, what could happen here?
    • Two minutes to note a few lines of dialogue from the figure or something else in the artwork
  • predicting
    • Ten minutes to suggest what may have happened before, during and after the situation portrayed in Winter swim.

Meet up in the conference room and spend fifteen minutes briefly discussing initial reactions and responses, perhaps sharing a question or a line of dialogue from your notes with the group.

Follow this with free writing with the pomodoro technique:

  • twenty minutes of writing
  • five minutes to share ideas with a partner
  • twenty minutes of writing
  • whole group sharing – listen to each writer discuss their response, or read aloud the whole piece or a portion, with the rest of the group providing feedback.

End the two hour session by reflecting on the group’s writing process, potential future uses of these activities or implications for your writing pedagogy.


*image from Gallery 139 

*worksheets from Just Imagine


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