Concordia Gallery 2013: A very important moment in art education
Last Tuesday 5 March at 6pm the first exhibition for the year, Now Then and Again was opened by writer and curator John Connell in Concordia Gallery. The evening as Dr Kerry Thomas said, “marked a very important moment in art education”. The exhibition was the culmination of progressively pedagogical ideas of enriching the student learning process through authentic engagement in art world practices.
The crowd of Newington College students, their parents, art education academics and external teachers, artists and architects were stunned and enthused by the artworks. They were engaged with the specificity of the Stones of Newington light installation (pictured above) that allowed detailed and historical sandstone patterns to frame the present view into the Newington College. This work is an extension of Andrew Burn’s art and architecture practice that uses geometry to arrange light and darkness in experiential works. Fellow teachers and past students were amused by the familiarity of the Report Card Comments painting installation and the honesty and revelation that came through looking back into the history of the College’s report cards. This too came from a very energetic one day workshop where Year 7 students worked directly with artist Tom Polo as he guided them to make immediate works in the gallery space–a brave creative act.
It was also an exhibition that allowed us to show some of the new technology in the school. The artworks Stones of Newington and Again were executed with the generosity of the Technology Department’s laser cutter and the artworks Report Card Comments and Again were also brought to us with the support and expertise of David Roberts from Archives.
Teacher Andrew Pawley collaborated with his Year 9 and 10 Photographic Digital Media classes to execute two beautiful reflections on past student photos and the current student body. It was Mr Pawley’s own film and installation artistic practice that directed those classes to contribute to the exhibition in such a sophisticated and resolved medium.
It was wonderful to have the support of Newington staff at the opening including the Headmaster Dr David Mulford who was enthusiastic about the gallery space and how it is being used to advance the teaching and learning in the classroom.
Finally none of the works or show would have been possible without the encouraging and talented Visual Arts Department lead, Mr Andrew Thompson.
Ms Hannah Chapman
Concordia Gallery Curator