Katherine Montesano

Star of the Sea College, Studio Arts

‘On the news tonight”

Katherine Montesano begins her folio with a mind map to brainstorm her idea: “What is on the news tonight?”  Thinking carefully about the question “Why do people have an urge to know about the news?” she questions whether listening to, or finding out about the news is part of people’s daily routine, and how it impacts on them.

A second mind map shows how Montesano reflects on sources and types of news as well as on the viewer’s perception.

Using an exploration proposal to define the development of an individual design process that includes a plan of how the proposal will be undertaken.

Montesano’s exploration proposal discusses her interest in the news, including its impacts on our daily lives, and its importance and influence. Montesano investigates our need to know what is going on in the world.“The news. We watch it, we hear it, we read it, we can be part of it and more often than not we spread it”. She is particularly interested in exploring aspects related to media manipulation and subliminal messaging. Montesano’s exploration proposal includes an outline of her intentions in a weekly plan over fourteen weeks.

Exploration and development of subject matter and ideas within the design process that are related to concepts and ideas described in the exploration proposal.

Montesano’s inspiration is described in her exploration proposal: the lyrics of the song ‘On the news tonight’ by Hawaiian songwriter, Jack Johnson, motivated her to develop a deeper understanding of the news and the significance it holds. Montesano’s aim was to explore the song and lyrics, to investigate the questions posed, as well as the impact of news, in particular of war, violence and natural disasters.

Exploration of materials and development of techniques and processes that are related to the concepts and ideas described in the exploration proposal.

Montesano aimed to use a range of media to explore her theme including stencils and prints, painting and possibly drawing, photography, electronic media and three dimensional works in the form of an installation. She was interested in Street Art and elaborates on her intention to use stencils to print onto a range of surfaces including collage, newspapers, and possibly canvas. She also wanted to incorporate digital technology and Adobe Photoshop as she was inspired by Andy Warhol’s photo booth strips. Her idea to experiment with three dimensional objects, including televisions, to captivate the audience was stimulated by her knowledge of the American artist Nam June Paik.

Exploration and development of aesthetic qualities in the design process relevant to the ideas described in the exploration proposal

Rosalie Gascoigne’s abstracted works utilising assemblages and found objects, exploring fragmentation, repetition and patterning inspired Montesano and she outlined her intention to experiment with the concept of repetition and pattern as well as composition. Montesano also wanted to experiment with colour combinations and a range of tones, and with a variety of application techniques. She intended to use colours and textures to explore “the transition from rage, shock and horror (bold and intense) to detachment, apathy, and indifference ( washed out and subdued).”

Evaluation of exploratory and developmental work throughout the design process


Montesano’s folio contains extensive documentation and annotation of her exploration. It displays evidence of inspirational images reiterating her interest in Street Art and the artist Banksy. The political and often humorous social commentary found in Banksy’s multi-layered stencils was another source of inspiration.

Montesano’s folio includes the stencil and print trials together with images and samples in bold colour, exploring collage and paint.

Selection and evaluation of a range of potential directions that will form the basis of artworks in Unit 4
Montesano identifies fifteen potential directions. Her first potential direction reinforces her interest in war and violence as a type of news - how we can become desensitised. Montesano uses repetitive images and text, bold colour and hue to emphasise her idea.

Another of her potential directions is a three dimensional exploration of colours and textures created through collage in the form of the globe, on the theme of natural disasters.

Folio focus statement, reflection and evaluation documentation

Montesano’s folio demonstrates her use of potential directions in producing finished artworks as well as her application of materials, technique and processes relevant to the chosen artforms. Montesano presents a cohesive folio where she successfully communicates and resolves her ideas.

Montesano’s folio demonstrates the resolution of aesthetic qualities and documents the cohesive relationship between the finished artworks.

In her focus statement, Montesano discusses her exploration of ideas including the exposure to violence through the news, the individual’s reaction to the news, various sources of news, and how over time a person can become detached or be manipulated by the news.

The work selected for Top Arts 2012 is drawn from Katherine’s folio of two finished works.


Katherine analyses thoroughly the process she has undertaken in the development of her ideas. She reflects on her work:

“ The layout of the large crystal prints that were placed behind the TV installations created a confined atmosphere and created a much more powerful effect that at times made the viewer feel insignificant….I believe that the presentation of my works was an important factor to consider in order to intrigue my audience. The idea of strategically arranging the TV’s in a line stacking them at varying eye levels captured my audience and forced them to look thoroughly at everything that was going on.”