Published on: 7 March 2024

Renowned WA artist James Giddy has been on campus painting a striking mural in a bustling area of our Senior School over the past week. Students watched in awe from corridors and pathways as James painted the top of the mural from a small cherry picker, with many striking up conversations about the artwork and its symbolism. The vibrant makeover is a Student Wellbeing Committee initiative and the product of passionate discussions around the importance of wellbeing at the School what it means to be a Christ Church student. Students came up with the idea to create a feature art piece that represents the identity of a Christ Church student for the whole school to enjoy and reflect upon. The School started discussions with James Giddy based on his reputation as a West Australian artist and his portfolio of significant murals in Australia and overseas. James also facilitated an watercolour painting workshop for staff earlier in the year as a staff wellbeing initiative, which left a lasting impression on staff.  In consultation with James, students started the creative process with some brainstorming on the topic of how wellbeing could be represented.

The final work features a black swan symbolising Christ Church in a number of ways; the animal has been a symbol of our state since early settlement, features in our school crest that every student wears proudly on their blazer, and represents students’ close proximity and connection to the Derribal Yerrigan – Swan River. Within the swan, there are smaller symbols that represent key wellbeing aspects that make up students’ Christ Church journey, including OQD, Kooringal, venture, PSA sport, and the School Chapel as the heart of our school community. These are areas from which students derive great enjoyment and challenge from.

With the added benefit of bringing a sense of whimsy and colour to the high traffic area, the mural aims to highlight the wellbeing programs offered to every student that comes through the School, and in turn, instil a sense of pride and belonging among students as they walk around campus.

Director of The Wynne Centre for Health and Wellbeing, Brad Gardner, commented on the success of the initiative. “Students should be proud of the way they have articulated the School’s holistic approach to wellbeing and the positive impact it has on every Christ Church student’s quality of life. Their contribution to this mural will serve as an inspiration for future generations of students. It was fantastic to work with James Giddy in bringing this vision to life. He has educated our students to draw connections between nature and their wellbeing and has formed connections with students across Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 throughout the week. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to James on behalf of the School for his involvement in this project.”

To conclude the project, James was invited to speak at this morning’s Senior School Assembly. Having James discuss the finished product with students served as a wonderful way to ensure that they feel included and understand the significance behind the artwork.