Design and Props students take up the home studio challenge

4 May 2020

Photo: First-year BFA (Design for Performance) student Ruby Jenkins hard at work in Adelaide, finishing off her model for the classic Australian play The Ham Funeral. This project was led by set and costume designer and NIDA alum Charlie Davis (Design, 2014).

Within NIDA's Centre for Design Practices, the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts students have been working online since March. The second year BFA (Design for Performance) students have taken up the challenge of setting up their home studios and continuing their design projects.

The Winter's Tale project for second-year students was a collaboration with the MFA (Directing) students under the leadership of Sport for Jove Artistic Director Damien Ryan and designers Isabel Hudson (Design, 2015) and Charlotte Mungomery (Design for Performance, 2016). The students are now designing the costumes for Volpone under the mentorship of designers Jonathon Oxlade and Charlotte Mungomery.

'We have supported the students by encouraging them to clear a space as large as possible to set up their workspace. For the designers this is so that they can build design boxes, organise inspiration boards, set out drawing areas,' said Centre Director Dr Julie Lynch. 'The NIDA library online and online research sources of inspiration have been utilised to give them further avenues to explore.'

'As an educator I miss very much the in-studio teaching with students, but I am so proud of what they have been able to achieve,' said Dr Lynch. 'Their own creative drive and self discipline has kept them focused.'


Photo: Phoenix McKay working from her home studio on the set and costume designs for The Winter's Tale.

The BFA (Properties and Objects) students are also busy creating projects from their home studios. Head of Properties and Objects, Course Leader Marcelo Zavala-Baeza said that the students' response to remote teaching 'has been inspiring and productive. When I asked them how they felt about online learning one student summarised it as follows: "I would say all of us have adapted well to the circumstances and feel very supported by the NIDA community".

'I would add that there is a sense of resilience among our students, which is driven by their creativity and problem-solving skills but in particular their attitude to overcome challenges and embrace imaginative new solutions within this new training context.'

Photo: Majella Beck, Associate Lecturer Properties and Objects, in her #virtualNIDA classroom.

Photo: Every year, our first-year Properties and Objects students re-create famous paintings with a twist. This year, they've been researching Goya for inspiration. Over the Internet and in pairs, they've helped each other recreate their chosen images using anything they could find at home. They will then use Photoshop to develop, recompose and blend the images into Goya-style self-portraits, which will be painted once they're are back at NIDA's campus.

Feeling inspired?  Find out more about NIDA's Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) here.

In 2020, our Open Day(s) will take place online, with activities spreading across four days from Wednesday 17–Saturday 20 June. Register here.