05 Feb, 2021
10 : 00
YWIES Shanghai Lingang provides every student with well-rounded and balanced education. Art is an essential aspect of the human experience, and is fundamental to Yew Wah philosophy and objectives. We therefore ensure all students are exposed to a wide variety of art throughout their school life.
YWIES Shanghai Lingang includes an Artist-in-Residence Programme, a unique educational experience in which a working artist interacts creatively with students of all ages within the school’s educational programme.
The artists lead various art projects across the school, as part of developing their own professional body of artwork. Students learn through experience about the dynamic art scene in China and worldwide, develop aesthetic sense and understanding and acquire their own creative artistic techniques and styles through working with someone who makes a living from being an artist.
Our Artist-in-Residence Gabe Ostley was born in Minnesota and graduated from the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) with a BFA in Sequential Art. After working in illustration and licensed characters in New York City, he moved to Hong Kong to the post of Artist-in-Residence for Yew Chung Education Foundation. There his work expanded to include painting, art installation, murals, film work, and large scale sculptures.
His comic book work was published by DC Comics, Devil's Due, and numerous indie publishers and anthologies. In November of 2019, Gabe and his family moved to Shanghai where he and his wife both work as Artists-in-Residence for Yew Wah and Yew Chung schools.
Mr Ostley said, “I've always been a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. What I admire most is how he never lets his emotions control him, and always calmly and logically solves the problems he faces. During the Coronavirus time I was inspired by this mindset and began this series as a means of exploring these ideas. I would love to talk with teachers from all departments on how a project like this could be adapted to units they are teaching. Illustration as a way of reading, visualising, and retaining information can be a highly effective learning tool.
I'm looking forward to doing more with this project this school year. I'd like to host After-School Activities centred around the idea of illustrating stories and see what our amazing students come up with! When we visualise our reading, art forges a special connection that is unforgettable.
As you view the work please note the planning, process sketches, reference photos and other materials. Art making is a process and a journey and not just about the final product.
May you be inspired this year and always, and never forget that every problem has a solution! Let's go, the game's afoot!"
Q: What is your greatest experience working as an Artist-in-Residence?
Mr Ostley: Before coming to YWIES I was lucky to be one of the first Artists-in-Residence in YCIS Hong Kong. Towards the end of 2019 is when I came to work for YWIES. So, although I’ve only been here in Shanghai one year, I’ve already had some great experiences. So far maybe my favourite experience is working with my llustration CCA students. They are very focused and creative.
Q: What kind of work do you do as an Artist-in-Residence?
Mr Ostley: As an Artist-in-Residence we try to inspire the students and staff as well as develop our own careers as artists. Many different types of projects come to us and we are happy to work with all age levels from ECE age all the way up through Secondary age students. I'm primarily an illustrator/cartoonist. I love to write or take existing text and translate it into images. That being said, because the students here are interested in all forms of art, I've been able to explore sculpture, painting, and installation art alongside the students. I've also done many large scale mural projects at different campuses, always including the students' visions and work. For my personal work, I have a passion for creating comic books and illustration projects. I love sharing the process of creation with the students.
Q: What ideas and messages do you want to convey most in these works of art?
Mr Ostley: For the Sherlock Holmes project, my aim was to explore a character who in times of crisis does not let his emotions control him. As we face this uncertain coronavirus time, it became important to me to have a character that used logic and intellect to solve problems. Sherlock Holmes never panics, but instead applies deduction and a scientific process to arrive at perfect solutions. By celebrating these stories, many of which are more than a hundred years old, I hope to reignite interest in them, and perhaps through the character of Holmes, give us a type of mindset to aspire to. It’s easy during these times to let panic and fear consume us, but maybe by looking at these images we can ask ourselves, "What would Sherlock Holmes do?" Maybe that could calm us, or at least fire our ambitions to find solutions.
Q: What do you think of this Artist-in-Residence programme?
Mr Ostley: I think this Artist-in-Residence programme is very exciting and unique. I was just talking with the principals how I’ve always admired the Foundation for valuing art and championing a special programme like this. Since becoming a parent, I am excited that my children have a chance to work with different working artists that can inspire and further our learning.