On Thursday, 19 March 2020, a small group of Albany Senior High School Year 9 and 10 students presented their resolved artworks from the 2019 Term 4 Corndarup Art Extension Project. Gathered to view this unveiling of four large canvas paintings were representatives from the school Executive Committee, Cultural Committee, Gifted and Talented Committee, the school’s Aboriginal Community and parents of the students involved.
This project came about from a recognised need to provide our more capable Art and HASS students with an open ended extension task that gave them the opportunity to go above and beyond what they could achieve within the constraints of a usual classroom environment. It ran for approximately two hours a week throughout Term 4 of last year, and the theme was Corndarup, which is the Noongar name for Mt Clarence.
Guided by Melissa Daw, one of the Visual Arts Teachers at ASHS, the students first worked as one group to start with, developing brainstorms and mind-maps regarding the mountain, and then sorted this into groups such as the flora and fauna, recreation and tourism, Aboriginal cultural history and significance, and the Anzac history and memorials. The students then broke off into smaller groups to further research the aspect which they were most interested in.
During this time, students were also expected to spend some of their own time exploring the site, taking photographs, and making observations and sketches. They then had a guest elder, Lynnette Knapp, visit and generously share stories and her knowledge of the history and significance of the site.
The students then sketched and brainstormed compositions; occasionally meeting up again as a whole group to share ideas and ensure that they had some continuity of ideas or imagery to represent a collection of works rather than individual paintings.
The time from then on was spent painting, reflecting, painting, problem solving, painting…it was hard work and the finished results are definitely something to be very proud of. The paintings are to be hung in the school’s recently renamed Interview Room 1, The Corndarup Room.
Participating students from Year 9: Adele Douglass, Amelie Lucas, Dyan Leslie, Asha Pattinson, Neveah Gray and Lyndsey Hanna.
Participating students from Year 10: Josie Staude, Charlotte Luscombe, Kate Medlen, Leah Mannes, Isabelle Blades, Skye Cordon and Jasmine Caldwell.