In a remarkable display of artistic talent, environmental consciousness, and cultural learning a series of ARTIE projects, have been sweeping through 15 schools across Southeast Queensland during Term 3, 2023. From captivating artworks to initiatives focused on caring for the country, learning to weave baskets and understanding the processes of Didgeridoos, these projects are transforming students’ perspective and understanding of creativity, sustainability, and Aboriginal Culture.
At Redbank Plains State High School, students have embarked on an awe-inspiring art project that combines cultural knowledge and art techniques. Under the guidance of their dedicated ARTIE Coordinator, the young artists have breathed a new life of art, crafted stunning artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, and expressed their unique perspectives through vibrant paintings.
One student, reflecting on their experience shared, “I’m thrilled I got to be chosen to participate in the ARTIE Art Project because it allows me to tell my story. It was a calming impact on my stressful days at school during lunch times, offering me support and allowing me to be creative with my mind”.
This innovative approach to art not only nurtures their creativity but also instils a sense of responsibility towards their environment, through discussion about culture, how to make the most of high school and their education.
Meanwhile, over on the northside, students at Bray Park State School are actively engaging in caring for country. Collaborating with local community, these passionate young individuals have taken up the responsibility of protecting and understandings the native plants that their school grows in the Native Garden. From organizing to clean up their special yarning circle space to actively walking around the school and leaning about the native plants. These ARTIE Students have made it an active role to look after not only their school grounds but also their country that they live on. They have decorated their own pot plants to showcase in the Native Garden to show their appreciation for nature, their efforts are making a tangible difference in their school community and bringing a new perceptive to their fellow school peers on the importance of caring for their environment.
The ARTIE Projects extends far beyond the boundaries of any traditional classroom. At Inala State School the students have joined forces with their ARTIE Coordinator, to create and understand the process of making a Didgeridoo. This project has introduced students to the cultural significance of the Didgeridoo and the special techniques that come with playing the instrument. Throughout the project there have been many engaging workshops and interactive sessions, where students are continuously learning about an in important aspect of their culture and also about each other.
On Yugambeh Country, a group of girls at Waterford West State School started to learn the art of weaving. They dived straight into making delicate baskets with natural and coloured materials. Weaving is a traditional art form passed down through generations and as the young girls engaged in this craft, they developed valuable skills, and a deeper appreciation for the cultural tradition.
“I enjoy spending time in a space that I feel comfortable to be myself and embrace my culture. I am learning a lot”, an ARTIE Student said.
This project has given them the chance to learn how to be patience with their masterpiece and how much effort and care it takes to make a wonderful piece of art. It was also a space where the girls could spend some time together and connect through storytelling and passing on cultural knowledge.
These projects are not only fostering a deep appreciation for the arts and the environment but also nurturing crucial skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. By providing students with opportunities to explore their creativity and culture while addressing real-world topics, the ARTIE projects are equipping them with the tools they need to become compassionate and loving person while also gaining knowledge about their culture and also about themselves through the reflective yarning throughout the project.
As news of these inspiring initiatives spreads, other ARTIE schools in the region are eagerly joining the projects movement, recognizing the immense value it brings to their students’ education. The transformative power of art and the commitment to caring for the country are creating a ripple effect that promises a brighter and more sustainable future for Southeast Queensland.
Through the ARTIE projects, South East Queensland schools are proving that creativity, cultural learning and environmental stewardship go hand in hand, igniting a passion for art and a deep-rooted commitment to preserving the land that these students live on. These projects serve as shining examples of what can be achieved when education transcends traditional boundaries, empowering students to make a positive impact on both their communities, the planet and themselves.