By Casey Neill
An artist has helped Keysborough students to celebrate their individuality and connectedness.
Keysborough Secondary College’s Banksia Campus, with Creative Victoria support, engaged Carla Gottgens as an artist in residence.
She worked with 160 Year 9 students on collaborative, creative and personally expressive project My Tree Our Forest.
Through a series of seven stop-motion films, students expressed a little of themselves, their heritage, their interests and their humour.
They sought and found connections between themselves and their peers and explored technologies to express these connections visually.
Campus principal Pat Boyd came across a Creative Victoria offer to connect schools with a practising artist for a unique project tailored to the school’s needs and demographic.
The school was looking to address a sense of social rebellion, disengagement or anxiety that often manifests in the Year 9 cohort.
It also wanted to actively promote a sense of unity and connectedness between its students, promote similarities and celebrate differences in a way that allowed students to be comfortable with who they were and how they fitted in with the bigger picture.