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Canberra Today 15°/18° | Wednesday, November 29, 2023 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Young art that will lift the spirits

Ceramic cats by Lyneham High School year 7 students. Photo supplied.

By CON BOEKEL

“STEP into the Limelight” is an exhibition showcasing art created by ACT primary, high school and college students.

Faced with 327 disparate works in disparate media by children of disparate ages, I found there was plenty to enjoy and if you’re  feeling jaded or a bit sad about the state of the world, this is the exhibition for you.

Ceramics, mixed media installations, clothing, drawings, paintings and prints all feature, but notably, there are no ventures into video media.

The children display exuberance, free-wheeling techniques, control, directness, simplicity, complexity and a sense of creative adventure. They move from realism to abstraction and surrealism. They take on challenging concepts. They express concern, delight, sadness and distress.

Zachery Eggins, high school student, in front of his winning entry, “Huh?” Photo: Christine Trull.

I walked along the walls and past the display tables with an increasingly joyful sense of the wondrous world in which children create art.

Children also had a hand in preparing their works for the exhibition and in installing the works – valuable experiences in their own right.

Two photography scholarships, in memory of Isabel Matthews, are awarded. Isabel died at a tragically young age at a time when she was showing great promise in her first year at the ANU School of Art.

David Matthews congratulates college student winner, Olivia Hansen. Photo: Tina Oldham.

Isabel’s father, David, presented the scholarships to college student Olivia Hansen and high school student Zachary Eggins.

In this community effort, there has been co-operation involving hundreds of students, teachers, M16 staff and most notably, educationist, Naida Blackley.

“Step into the Limelight” is a life-affirming exhibition.

“Step into the Limelight”, M16 Artspace, Griffith, until  August 27.

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