Senior School Art Exhibition - Art on High
Art on High, Neon Parlour
21st Annual Senior Art Exhibition, August 2017
Homeless…..we had to find a new abode for our annual Senior Art Exhibition, which we had held at a gallery in North Fitzroy for the past 5 years, and in the heart of Fitzroy for 15 years prior to that. Our new venue is Neon Parlour in Thornbury, a space previously occupied by a beauty parlour. Now, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, with various artworks proudly displayed on the walls.
Situated on busy High Street, between a bohemian mix of old and new shops and cafes, Neon Parlour lends itself very well to the eclectic mix of work produced by our young artists. These are mostly paintings, drawings and photographic creations, punctuated by one solitary installation of a pile of cushions sporting bright designs.
Each year, we wonder how the exhibition items will work together harmoniously, given the number and individuality of artists, but somehow it just does. The figures in the many portraits gaze at each other, in neighbourly proximity or across the floor, knowing, after all, that they have come to life from within the community of Strathmore Secondary College. Often, as we install the exhibition, we see a synchronicity occurring as colours or themes inter-relate or stand out by their juxtaposition. It brings a smile….yes, it’s working!
The vehicles on High Street whoosh on the road, making the people who walk by the window silent in their movement as they traverse along the pavement. “Come in,” I think, “come in and see the wonders of youthful endeavour.” Some heed this telepathic call, others…..well, maybe they will drop in later, or another day.
The opportunity for strangers to see the artworks is ever present but really, what this exhibition is about is a chance for those with budding artist aspirations to experience the sensation of fear, courage and ambition (in whatever parts) that the safety and distracting background of a school environment only rarely manages to afford. “Hey, that’s my work on a white wall: it looks somehow different to the way it is displayed at school….”
A number of students have begun their exhibiting experience in Year 10, continuing it through Years 11 and 12. At a young age, they have achieved what many older artists may not have achieved. Even if they do not pursue an artistic career, the students have gained much: overcoming initial apprehension in participating in a public event as well as feeling the excitement of seeing what they can achieve, with family and friends to join them in their celebration. This year, we had 35 exhibitors. Natalie LoGiudice, designed the lovely invitation.
On our Celebration night on 18th August, past student, Emma Woodhams-Bertozzi, spoke about her own experiences at Strathmore as central to her development as an artist. She encouraged the exhibiting students and others to take the opportunities offered and not to be afraid of taking risks with their creative process. The crowd of over 100 people - parents, teachers, friends, exhibitors and guests - came away inspired by what they saw and heard.
Our senses were further delighted by the sounds of musical duo, Mystic Tomato – Eliza and Cecily Tighe, who entertained us. Thank you.
Hooray, well done, good on ya! Let’s do it again next year!
Visual Arts Faculty