Students Spotlight: Royal Adelaide Show Art Entries

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In Term 3, Year 9 student Chelsea and Year 12 student Millie, entered artworks created in their respective OAC art classes, to the Royal Adelaide Show Junior Art, Craft and Design competition. Cheslea’s portrait was created as part of the Portraiture unit in Years 9/10 Art Skills. The outcome, be it a trophy or not, is just a small part of the bigger picture; the real prize is the courage and personal growth that come from the journey of entering into a competition.

Millie’s artwork was created in Stage 1 Visual Art for the Folio task which had a music theme. Have a read at Millie’s artist statement:

The Fallen Brave - Private Thomas James Walker

Soft pastel, watercolor, watercolor pencils and ink on brown sanded pastel paper - 2x A3
The intention of this artwork was to portray the meaning behind Dave Ardens’ song “Freedom Called”, it is a tribute to the Aboriginal soldiers who served in World War 1 and 2. My artwork is two portraits, the top one is of Private Thomas James Walker, who was killed in action after a German aircraft dropped a bomb directly into his trench, near Boyonvillers on the Western Front, France. The bottom portrait is the silhouette of a soldier when he returned home to Australia after the war. The artwork demonstrates that Aboriginal soldiers didn't need to die to be invisible, because when they returned home, they were treated as though they were less than human, being stripped of everything they knew and worked for before they left to fight in the war. I used symbolism in the top portrait by adding a German aircraft which is what killed him, and in the bottom one, I didn’t put doors on the buildings to symbolize that even if the soldiers came home, they weren’t allowed to go anywhere or have the same rights as the white people.

The Fallen Brave is a mixed media artwork made using predominantly soft pastel, watercolor and watercolor pencils on brown Canson Mi-Teintes Touch sanded pastel paper, with black ink on the top portrait to accentuate the fine details. I created a sense of balance by having the horizon line the same, and similar color schemes on both portraits. The result is a permanent work of art to reside with Private Thomas James Walkers’ grandson Derek Gollan, who is a very close friend of the Treloar family. He will either hang it in his house, or he will have it hang in the Meningie RSL for the friends and family of Thomas Walker to view and use to remember the bravery, sacrifice and dedication not only of Thomas, but all of the Aboriginal soldiers who fought in World War 1 and 2. The message I hope the audience of my artwork will receive from it is that Aboriginal soldiers were able to fight and die for their country as humans, but when they were home, they had no rights and weren’t even allowed to vote, they were treated like second class citizens. I hope that my artwork reminds people to remember and honor the great sacrifices that Aboriginal soldiers made for their homeland.

Many hours went into the planning of this artwork as I wanted to do Dave Ardens’ song justice by creating a strong meaning behind it. The creation went smoothly, with almost no mistakes which I was very pleased with. It turned out exactly how I planned which made the many hours of planning and creating worth it.

By Millie

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Last updated: 01 November 2023