Kaylene Whiskey (b.1976) is a Yankunytjatjara artist who spends her days painting and working at Iwantja Arts – an Aboriginal-owned art centre situated at Indulkana on the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands roughly 1200km northwest of Adelaide. Whiskey’s brightly coloured comic-strip style paintings are known for their playful synthesis of popular and desert culture, often featuring recurring cameos of Hollywood actors, famous film and television characters, divas and pop icons interacting with Whiskey’s daily life in Indulkana.

Year 5 students created their own works of art inspired by Kaylene Whiskey. Initially students watched Whiskey’s animations, which sparked curiosity as we all discussed what the children saw, what was happening and they wondered about the artist’s work. The students also watched a short artist videowhere she discussed the motivation behind her work. This was a great way for the students to hear directly from the artist, in their own words.

We then switched to listening to some very old recordings of the “War of the World” audible series. I played the first part of each sound track. Listening to the description of the landing of the craft and the alien creature. Student drew what they thought was happening in the audio. This would become a base or starting point for their comics. Students came together as a group to discuss some images of 1950’s style comics. We compared them to the work of Whiskey looking at similarities and differences.

Using the audio as a starting point, students created their own comic. Students then photographed their work using their iPad and exported the image into the Comic Life App where the image was enhanced and text/titles were added. When completed students reflected on their work and uploaded their images and explanation to form a Grade online art gallery using the online program Padlet.

- Sharon Lynch, Specialist Art Teacher, Immanuel Primary School