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.
There are 91 artworks by students from nine schools in this, our 15th Annual Student Art Exhibition. All were produced last year, before the COVID-19 catastrophe.
This context means they are an artistic time capsule of how the students saw themselves and their world, before the pandemic. They form a marker in the students’ lives, delineating a time before social distancing, isolation, remote learning and face masks became almost routine.
This gives this year’s exhibition an additional and extraordinary layer of difference. If the artwork was framed by when it was created, the subsequent pandemic has also shaped the way we will view it.
On a practical level, it has presented ISV with the technical challenge of displaying an exhibition, which is why we are launching isArtworks, our new online gallery that will provide an expanded viewing experience for our student artists, their families and school communities, and people in our wider networks who enjoy these exhibitions each year. At the same time, we look forward to the lifting of restrictions that prevent us opening it to the public in a physical gallery.
ISV’s determination to host the exhibition – regardless of impediments – reflects our commitment to the arts in the lives and education of students. The works on display confirm that they and their schools share this commitment.
Chief Executive, Independent Schools Victoria