During her residency with us, Wilma Tobacco shared her knowledge of colour theory and the capacity colour has to create dramatic optical effects! Our students explored these effects by discussing her paintings in detail and observing her work through her own colour systems. Wilma took our junior students through a workshop where they created interchangeable spinning tops with a unique colour and pattern system, which created different colour-mixing effects. The faster the top spun the more the colours merged and blended.
Students were able to experience first-hand, how humans perceive colour; and the visual effects of how colours mix, match or contrast with each other. Our brain is unable to process each colour on the disc individually, so the primary colours (red, blue and yellow) began to mix. This created the illusion of secondary colours like purple, green and orange. The faster the top spun, the greater the colour-mixing and blending effect.
A bit about the artist...
Wilma Tabacco was born in the province of L’Aquila, Italy and has lived in Australia since childhood. She received a Bachelor of Commerce from Melbourne University in 1972 and Diploma of Education in 1973. In 1979 she undertook a Diploma of Fine Art at Phillip Institute, Melbourne and whilst lecturing in painting and drawing at the University of Melbourne, continued studies at RMIT University where she completed a Master of Arts in 1995 and a PhD in 2006. Wilma has lectured variously in painting, drawing and printmaking at the University of Melbourne, Canberra School of Arts and at RMIT as part of the international programme in Hong Kong and in Melbourne.
She has received several grants from the Australia Council Visual Arts and Craft Board including a studio residency in Italy, and has also worked and exhibited in Seoul as the recipient of an Asialink residency in Korea. In 2011 she, together with Dr Irene Barberis, established Langford120, a contemporary gallery space which she currently co-directs.