Welcome to isArtworks, an interactive, online gallery presentation by Independent Schools Victoria.
The gallery showcases the artworks displayed at our annual student art exhibitions and specially themed collections from 2005 to present day.
isArtworks provides a dynamic viewing experience of the constantly evolving collection. It offers insights into the unique perspectives of young people as expressed through their artwork and the changing arts education landscape, as well as access to resources to support the design of classroom learning programs.
Every exhibition of student art ISV has held has been different – because the artworks are created by unique individuals using their distinct talents and applying diverse techniques to express themselves, and respond in their own way to what’s happening around them. They are produced in schools, each with its own approach to the arts curriculum. And they reflect the times in which they are conceived and created.
The creation of artwork comes from the deep places in human experience surfacing what cannot be measured or expressed through other literacies. It is born from social and emotional intelligence and it takes its direction from critical thinking. It interrogates ethics and operates in nuance bringing together diverse perspectives always centralising its creator and embracing their world. The arts have the power to console, heal and restore fortifying individuals and communities in times of challenge and change.
Reach by Lucy Sheumack
When I visited Korowa Anglican Girls’ School at the end of last year to select artwork, I was struck by this painting by Lucy Sheumack. The work is quite large, well over life sized, at about 600mm x 800mm, and so the gentle image of the single pink hand which creates the striking focus of this work seemed to take on an enigmatic quality. As gesture has always been a central part of the visual language of artists, I found the movement of the hand with fingers still unfolding as it reaches upwards to be quite compelling. For me, Reach represents the aspiration that is at the heart of the arts and education as we continue to think and act positive in a time of challenge.
– Anne, Arts Learning Executive
On Pointe by Amy Cattell
I love this artwork of a ballerina on pointe. It resonated with me by bringing back memories of dance classes, fun, hard work and the joy of pirouettes. The simplicity of the drawing – just lines and shading – evokes the same feeling of lightness you see in a dancer’s movements as they move effortlessly across the stage, drawing you into a different kind of story, one with no words. What you don’t see, as you’re swept away watching a performance, or looking at this deceptively simple drawing, is the effort, the time, dedication and commitment it took to learn, to perfect a movement, to learn a drawing technique, to get on pointe.
– Effie, Digital Arts Curator
Portrait in Grey by Eva Haidacher
This portrait is so excellently executed. I love the brushwork of the piece, the contrasting roundness of the hair and the square highlights of the skin. Her gaze is so soft and I feel so drawn into the narrative of this work. What is she thinking? Is she looking longingly? Is she disappointed? I think her expression is just beautiful, and the technicality of the artwork makes this piece so impressive.
– Erica, Arts Learning Administration Assistant
Galah by Amy Cattell
With its vibrant colours and distinct features, the Australian galah was a very eye catching piece of art to connect with. It made me think about my childhood, growing up in a part of Australia where galahs are so prevalent in the local bush. For eating crop seeds, popular with local farmers though, they were not! I’m really impressed by the colour palette of the galah and the blue background really makes it pop. The feathers on the head of the galah make me think of native American headpieces and I wonder if there is a connection the artist was trying to make. This piece of art makes me feel happy and think about a galah that looks like it has a cheeky and fun personality!
– Kieren, Head of Innovation and Learning
Towers, a group collaboration
Often as part of the collection, artwork is selected that embodies a collective approach to creation. Arts learning inherently fosters students to expand their view and contemplate the interpretation of others, including their peers. Group art is a wonderful opportunity for artists to reflect not only a sense of themselves, but to engage in the process of creation around them, as they actively interact with others. In such a process, the interplay between students echoes throughout the forming of the work. This exhibited work presents simultaneously as single voices and a coherent unity. When I see this work I experience the building of a diverse dialogue. United, a group work cherishes individual contributions and sparks the richness of dynamic chatter in continuing conversation. For me this work is a buzz, with the vitality of any interactive communal shared space we may delight to traverse. See the complete ink and charcoal artwork here, and the unglazed clay sculpture reproductions here.
– Melinda, Arts Learning Project Advisor
Issues by Hannah Di Stefano
There are so many images in the gallery which resonate with me. I have chosen this work at this time, for the feelings that they inspire. Two images that might appeal to people heartsick at the destruction of their country during wartime. Images that highlight sun, holidays, big ideas. Images linked with one word, a name full of hope and endless possibility – ‘Australia’. This must have been the feeling experienced by my parents, who emigrated to Australia with their young family in the early 1950s, leaving war ravaged Guernsey in the Channel Islands. In this time of Covid lockdown, I appreciate more and more what it is that travel represented for those craving new options and new scenes with which to enrich their lives. These images connect me to my parents and my wider family, and spark feelings of hope and potential.
– Michelle, Chief Executive