“Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.” Clive Barker, Days of Magic, Nights of War

As Barker points out, some of the most terrible things that happen to us can be made beautiful when they go through our hearts. Many of the works by our students in Y12 this year were a testimony to this. Students chose to deal with violence, with the absurdity of adult life, with the Holocaust, with death, with truth in a world of lies, with the power of anger and words, with the pain of growing into being, with being lost, with finding your worth, with the overwhelming acceleration of modern life.

All of these issues and many more were transformed into images. Our artists in the making stated their intentions in candid curatorial texts and the audience had a glimpse into their personal journey. Video.

As we said that night, it is not often that we get to peep into the minds of teenagers and many of the attendees were moved by the experience.

This year, we also displayed work that is being done by all of the other students in the Secondary School. Y7 prepared a collective sculpture that plays with the notions of colour. Y8 painted their mural on the Middle school yard. Y9 hung their paintings (cubism, surrealism, expressionism and other XXth Century movements) in the MS Gym together with some posters they created in the manner of the Russian Avant Garde. Y10 gave life to the street with their drawings, sculptures and reproductions as a result of an innovative programme in which they practice each form of production with a different teacher-specialist. And Y11 developed a thought provoking ephemeral museum in the Learner Space.

We will continue to explore more ways in which to show the community all the work we do in the Visual Arts department, but for now, we go back to class and continue to enjoy teaching Art to our students.

Many thanks to everybody involved: school authorities, maintenance team and families.

Paula Barberis