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22 December 2021
A new exhibition featuring on Ararat Gallery TAMA’s community wall captures the creative pursuits of 11 visual-art students from Ararat College.
Challenging their own creativity, the works provide a glimpse into how students faced challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including home schooling, social isolation and uncertainty.
College head of arts Nicole Potter challenged her year-nine and 10 visual-arts class to create a visual response to the pandemic.
“This project has many layers. As well as students completing a visual response to a current world issue, they were challenged to create a mind map to begin with that represented their own experiences,” she said.
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“They then needed to use a medium – acrylic paint, which many had not practised with for 18 months or longer.”
Ms Potter said the works demonstrated that each student responded to the pandemic in different ways, depending on circumstance.
“Another difficulty for many students was changing their notion that artworks need to be photographic or realistic,” she said.
“They learnt that putting their feelings and ideas into paint creates results that can be perceived in many ways.
“Students were very open with their varied responses and the process of mixing and applying their paints became quite a therapeutic exercise in itself.
“The results are a visual museum of a time in history unlike any other, as experienced by our young people.”
Visual-art students Milly Keilar and Olivia Sherwell shared how they felt about their works being on display at Ararat gallery for the very first time.
“My art piece is a representation of how teens felt throughout the time of COVID-19,” Milly said.
“Using imagery about the subject of COVID, I tell the story of the recent lockdowns and how they made us feel.
“I’ve never had an artwork on big display except for at school.
“It was easy to make. I really like interpretive art.
“I wanted to make my piece kind of like a person but a bit smudgy. It represents all people.”
Olivia said she was excited and proud.
“Everyone in our class can show their own style,” she said.
“Being able to show the whole community how we felt during online schooling is a great thing.
“We still felt hope during that time because we were all doing it together, at the same time. I found it really calming to use paint, to be able to put it all on the page.”
Ararat mayor Jo Armstrong said the gallery’s community wall was a great way to showcase the challenges faced by young people in the community.
“Looking at the paintings, it became clear that the pandemic had affected each student quite differently,” she said.
“Despite the challenge of not being able to practice at home, the resulting art works are stunning.
“It’s great to see the gallery supporting young artists and encouraging the community to connect through the arts.”
The entire December 22, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire December 22, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!