SFX Life Skills Art Exhibition09/09/2014

On Wednesday 27 August, the Life Skills Art Exhibition took place at St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton.

This is a very special event on the college calendar and occurs every second year. The exhibition celebrates the end of an intensive 6-week art program. The theme this year was self-expression, identity and individuality. The process began with mind-maps and journalling to identify aspects of the students’ lives that make them into the people they are today. The aim was to develop a Body of Work where students explored a variety of art-making techniques and new ways to view themselves.  Beginning with drawing exercises such as continuous line drawing, they moved through to printmaking, collage and paint. The major work was a self-portrait using paints with descriptive symbols to give the viewer a sense of the individual’s interests and passions. Students reflected on their art works with a ‘bio’ describing the process and the meaning they wished to portray to the viewer. Students and staff worked tirelessly on this process for six weeks to develop a series of artworks for each student to exhibit.

The aim of the Life Skills Art Exhibition evening was to provide a professional art space with all the typical additions such as refreshments and appetisers, and relaxing background music. To achieve this, the purpose-built MacKillop Centre was relieved of all furniture and decked out with black walls, amazing art work and scattered lounges so visitors could sit and admire the works. The event involved considerable planning, involvement and team-work  from students and staff.

The evening began with live music and speeches and then family, friends, staff and special guests admired the art works. To enhance the students' post-school and communication skills they were required to stand by their art works and answer any questions asked by the visitors. The students truly came alive when discussing their art process. Students who are typically shy answered question after question, explaining their art work, smiling and genuinely enjoying their success. This continued well into the next day where teachers brought a constant stream of classes through the MacKillop Centre art space to celebrate the Life Skills students’ success.

This is such a magical evening. It gives students the gift of creativity that they are hopefully able to explore further, post-school. Students realise there are many ways in which they can express themselves, not just through verbal communication. These students participated: Ethan Dominsh, Callan Kelly, Joshua Culley, Jeremy Holdstock, Mayham Compton, Gabrielle O’Neill, Grace Smallman, Laura Metcalfe, Anthony Attard-Rymer, James Hoffmann, Ebony Logue and Thomas Parker.

The Learning Support Faculty also has gone above and beyond to make this happen with many personal and professional rewards. Thank you to Eleanor Hanlon (Art teacher/Learning Support Teacher), Sharon Unie, Paul Dangarfield, Sascha Flick and Monique Williams. Other faculties also played an important role to support this event. Kirsten Beletich and students (Entertainment), Melissa Wattus (Music) and her students William McGeachie and Joanna Gorton (Musicians), Nicolee Hodges (Hospitality) and students, and of course our groundsman Stephen Hogan for all his handy work.

We all have learned never to underestimate the power of art and also, through hard work come many great rewards. We hope students treasure this experience and use it to be motivated to always think outside the square on their journeys into adult life.

Picture below: Jeremy Holdstock (Life Skills Student)

SFX Life Skills Art Exhibition IMAGE