Published on: 31 August 2017

A group of our Visual Art students made an appearance in court this week for all the right reasons.

Earlier in the year, the boys from Years 8 to 11 collaborated over many hours to create a special large scale artwork for its requestor, Magistrate Felicity Zempilas of the Perth Magistrates Court. Representing the benefits of a healthy ecosystem where everyone plays a part, the artwork was inspired by the concept and visual language of a bee colony – working together as a community for the greater good.

This week it was the boys’ privilege to visit and see the unveiling in situ following its recent installation in the Start Court.

Start Court is the Adult Mental Health Diversion and Support Court at Perth Magistrates Court and is directed at people who are experiencing mental health issues and have been charged with criminal offences.

“In Start Court, we try to create a safe and therapeutic environment for our program’s participants, so our team can build a relationship of trust with them. Participants can be with us for about six months and come in quite regularly to discuss their progress, so they become familiar with the courtroom,” says Magistrate Zempilas.

“Before receiving this magnificent artwork from Christ Church our court was quite a sterile and imposing place. Courts do not usually contain art, with the exception of the Drug Court in Perth Magistrate’s Court.”

Year 11 Visual Art student Aidan Mangano said “It was great to see the artwork in a whole different environment and the impact it creates, not just visually but in terms of setting a positive mood within the court.”

“The collaborative nature of designing and constructing such a large scale work meant that each boy had a hand in building the unified piece. It allowed our Year 11 Art Committee leadership team the opportunity to mentor the younger creative members and the final result provided the Start Court a startling, engaging and inspiring contemporary artwork that came together conceptually and visually,” said project lead and Head of Art, Pam Yordanoff.

“Not only were we charged with creating an artwork that reflected positive wellbeing, it provided an opportunity to practice wellbeing strategies in a collegial setting – to connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.”

As a show of appreciation, each of the boys were presented with gifts by Magistrate Zempilas which included jars of fresh honey.