College mural a reminder of ‘the happiest of times’

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A mural by Bjarni Wark of Happy Decay.

AS “N-Week” (the week before O-Week) looms on the ANU campus, beginning on February 7, one college at least is making plans to help students make the move from home to university.

“We all remember the first day at uni,” acting head at John XXIII College, Cris Clucas says.

“You’re 18 years old, just out of school and you find yourself finally in that much-awaited time of transition and freedom… Your parents insist on driving you to the residence. You check in, you’re given your key and a senior resident shows you around before your parents attempt to hold it together as you wave at them to please leave.”

There used to be just Orientation Week, but these days the campus also has N-Week, designed for the leadership committees in residential colleges to prepare for O-week and for the ANU to run programs for international students.

During the week, 150 new ANU students at John XXIII will be joining in an arts initiative called ”The Belonging Project” aimed at creating connections between the “J23” student leadership team and new residents. They might even get to know each other’s names.

Professional south-coast community artist, Bjarni Wark, has worked with the J23 team to create a mural which reflects the college’s identity. He’ll lead the painting of the mural in N-Week onto a massive temporary wall in the college’s dining hall which will remain in situ until late 2021 as a reminder of “the happiest of times”.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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