Every year, the Creative Arts Exhibition is an opportunity for artists in primary and secondary schools across Victoria to express themselves in creative ways. The exhibition is a much-loved feature of the annual celebration of Catholic Education Week, and an opportunity for us, the viewers, to be blown away by some of the incredible artistic talents these students possess.
There's a lot to look at, and you can do so at the Creative Arts Exhibition website, or in person at the Catholic Leadership Centre (576 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne). For now, however, here is just a snapshot of a few of the pieces.
This painting, called 'Tree of Zacchaeus', was created by Verita North-Tanner, a Year 5 student at Our Lady of the Way School, Kingsbury. Verita says, 'I created it using a combination of pastels and paint. I have always enjoyed drawing and painting trees, so this was an opportunity to showcase my passion and interest in nature . . . I usually stick to either pastels or paint. I have never combined them into one work before, so this was a good learning experience for me.'
This piece was created by Amelia Ronchi, a Year 9 student at Sacré Coeur in Glen Iris, using the photogravure technique of reproducing someone's photographic vision (a technique first pioneered in the 1820's). This one involved printing the photo onto a photopolymer plate, scrubbing it with ink, and threading it through a printing press.
'I was inspired by Robert Mapplethorpe,' Amelia said, 'who used lots of shadows in his work, and I wanted to create something similar . . . My passions and inspirations were to have an illusion inside the artwork. That's why it had the hand-shadow in it, because you have the flower as the main focus, but then to have some more depth in the work.'
This painting was by Elizabeth Knight, a Year 12 student at Emmaus College.
This piece is actually a commentary on COVID and quarantine, which is why it has a very monotonous, sombre feel, with the blue palette. It has a lot of metaphors and symbolism I personally feel - like the newspaper, for example, or the repetitious bricks - but I feel as a viewer you should be able to put your own spin and feel to it. I as the artist can't tell you what to feel.'
The feeling of movement in this work is created, in part, by the fact that the curtains are made from actual newspaper that have been glued to the painting.
There are plenty of other pieces for viewing, and from previous years. To finish off, here is a look at a couple of brilliant portraits, by a Year 10 and a Year 11 student respectively.
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli17 March 2022
Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS)15 March 2022