The Global Citizenship Centre’s exhibition, Art with Heart opened on Tuesday 19 March in the Round Square Gallery. The theme of the exhibition is Homelessness with the aim to build awareness and engagement around the issues of Homelessness and U.N. Global Goal #1 No Poverty.
It was wonderful to see contributions from such a wide variety of our school community, students, teachers and parents either solely created artworks or worked collaboratively to create some really evocative and thoughtful work exploring the themes of homelessness and poverty.
Student artists spoke passionately about the issue of homelessness in Australia and reflected on what inspired their work. Year 9 student Thomas Polizzi entered two pieces, one a solo piece called Nameless and the other a collaborative piece he worked on with his mum, Danielle called Faceless. “Both of these pieces I hope give you a visual representation that connects to all we know, that homelessness doesn’t discriminate and is a growing problem within our society.” Year 7 student, Elora Twyford, reminded us that homelessness can happen to anyone. In speaking about her piece she said she wanted to get people to “think about their own lives and acknowledge that they are perhaps only one or two poor choices or circumstances away from being in the same position – so we should not judge those who are homeless, but rather, show compassion towards them.”
After the exhibition opening, Year 10 student and artist, Charlotte Hunt, shared her poignant reflection on homelessness and explained her beautiful artwork. “So often people walk through the city and ignore the homeless or the beggars. We tend to avoid eye contact because we either feel horrible, embarrassed, guilty or want to ignore what is going on. We feel as though we can’t help. After all, what can one person do? First, we must see the problem. In my artwork, I tried to reflect the emotions one may go through when witnessing someone on the streets. Each and every person would react in a different way. Through the reflection of the eye, someone is beginning to cry at the homeless man they are looking at and the situation he is in. Of course, this homeless man just represents the many thousands of men, women and children who live in poverty. We create change, but we must see the problem.”
Buckley House teaching staff created a quilt from material donated by staff and families. Mrs Redmond described the process, “The clothing that was donated were things that have kept someone warm. Mrs Stock donated a pair of her daughters’ knitted tights, Mr Keuneman donated a warm jumper and Mr McInerney donated some of his winter school uniforms. If you look closely enough, you will the heart of Ivanhoe in the middle of the quilt! We are so fortunate for the generosity of donations from all our staff. We hope that the clothing we once wore to keep us warm, will one day keep someone else warm.”
The quilt will be donated to charity 300 Blankets. The School has been working closely with this not-for-profit charity for some years which provides goods such as warm blankets and support to the homeless living rough on the streets of Melbourne.
A big congratulations to everyone involved in making the opening such a success, the Ivanhoe Learner Attributes, Compassion, Ethical and Collaboration were truly on display. The exhibition is open for the rest of the week in the Round Square Gallery and it then travels to Plenty Campus for two weeks.