Martyn Dukes Shows at Rhy Art Fair Basel


Mr. Martyn Dukes, Chair of the Fine Arts Department, plunged back into the world of professional Fine Art exhibitions at the beginning of the summer after a number of years absence. His summary of the experience:

Oddly enough, my IB teaching was partly responsible for getting me back into exhibiting: A change of syllabus saw young artists having to write a rationale for their final show, and in effect curating their own shows. As their teacher, this got me thinking about how I used to do the very same thing, as a painter, and little by little, this rekindled my desire to exhibit.

The international art fair in Basel in June was an exciting and hectic week and attracted galleries, artists, and buyers from all over the world. Rhy Art Fair Basel, one of a number of fringe events, was the setting for my showing of paintings from a long running series called Icons. These reflect a fascination with the world of the consumer and explore the enduring and idolized symbols that have grown out of it.

This was a tiring and sometimes stressful return to what is also sometimes a capricious and volatile business. In addition, as one of the warmest Junes on record, there was no air conditioning in the exhibition halls and temperatures were close to 40 °C. There were other changes too, with social media having become the indispensable tool for promoting the artist and their artworks; my clients would more likely buy my work if they felt connected to me in others ways—for example, if they knew which coffee brand I drink...There was, however, good company, with fellow artists from all over the globe spending many hours sitting around in our respective areas, willing the visitors to turn into interested, potential, and then real buyers. There were plenty of jokes and shared commiseration when they didn't.

Was it worth it? Well, yes, it was a great experience. And I’m going to do it again.

Mr. Dukes’ artworks in this show (Icons) can be seen catalogued with other works at

IB Visual Arts Exhibition a Great Success

The IB Visual Arts final exhibition was on display for the weekend of March 17–20 in the Palestrina. The exhibition serves as the internal assessment for the course. Students must choose the artworks from the body of work they produced during the two-year course and curate the exhibition.

This year 11 TASIS seniors mounted exhibitions featuring work made with different media, from video and animation, drawing and painting, cut out and construction to cyanotype prints and site-specific installation. The artists used their exhibitions to express ideas and feelings on a range of social and personal issues.

The gallery below contains images from the show. Click on any image and you will be taken to a slideshow. 

IB Visual Arts Final Exhibition

Everyone is welcome to the IB Visual Arts Final Exhibition this coming Friday in the Palestrina. The exhibition opens at 16:00 with light refreshments. Come and meet the grade 12 artists, celebrate their achievements and see what they have been up to in the art and photography studios. This year the group has been particularly creative and there should be something to appeal to most tastes. You may well have already noticed student artwork appearing around the campus - an umbrella tree, a very large rubric's cube, a sock mobile.... so, come and discover more in the Palestrina. The exhibition is open over the weekend, with the exception of Saturday morning when the artwork is assessed and marked.

The Great Magazine Cover Assignment

TASIS Photography 1 students are assigned a project to make a magazine cover using their own images and copy, but are allowed to emulate well-known publications. There is creative license with regard to how closely the cover copies a specific publication. The objective is to learn how to combine text and photographs, to work with many different layers, and to use layer styles to create the look and feel of a real magazine. The results are quite impressive! Here is a gallery of six created covers by current Photography 1 students.

Winter Exhibition 2017

Don't miss the opportunity to view and support TASIS Visual Arts students. Photography and work from the Architecture and Design will be displayed in the Palmer Center. In the Sahenk Fine Arts Center will be more photography, drawings, and paintings. The work in the weekend exhibition includes work by beginners to higher level IB students. Below is a gallery of a few images that will be on display this weekend. Join us!

Exquisite Corpse - Year Two

Last year TASIS photography students tried a project for the first time called an Exquisite Corpse. It ended up being a well-received activity, and early this fall we started two new Exquisite Corpse chains.

The parlor game Exquisite Corpse developed from a Surrealist working of a game called “Consequences” in which participants would write a sentence in turn on a sheet of paper and fold the paper to conceal part of the writing before passing it on to the next contributor. The corpse of the title came from artists drawing body parts on a part of a sheet of paper and folding it to conceal the image from the next person. The results can be surprising and serendipitous.

In our Exquisite Corpse, the first player was given a phrase from which they were asked to produce an image. In turn that image was delivered to the next person and so on until each photographer had a chance to respond. Like a visual game of “Telephone,” participants add an image to the chain while only knowing the image that came before their own.

Each of our image chains are not a collection of photographs but, rather, an unfolding story that evolves from multiple points of view one image at a time. While the particulars of each photo can be interesting, the stories are found in the surprises, mystery, and disconnects that mark the trajectory of each narrative. The strange, illogical juxtapositions are what attracted the Surrealists to the form. The excitement of creation and collaboration is what drives us to seek what meaning, if any, will develop at the end of our chain.

Please enjoy our second two Exquisite Corpse stories created by the students working with photography for IB CAS creativity or in advanced photography courses (IB first and second year/ Advanced Placement). Click on the title of each story and use the arrow on the right to follow the story sequentially.)