Published on: 4 July 2014

Christ Church’s Indigenous students embraced the challenges of a new style of canvas for the 2014 Indigenous Student Art Exhibition. Turning old surfboards into works of art, the boys were clearly ‘On Board’ with the theme for this year’s exhibition and the School’s NAIDOC Week program.

Chair of School Council John Poynton AM officially opened the exhibition in the Old Boys’ Gallery on Wednesday night. A large gathering of the school community came together to appreciate the original paintings of the 16 boys as well as artwork by students from Yakanarra Community School.

The Indigenous students, who are predominantly from the Kimberley region, took part in a series of after-school and weekend workshops with Senior Art teacher Gisela Züchner-Mogall, who has led the project for the past four years.

Mrs Züchner-Mogall said this year’s brief was the most ambitious yet but the boys rose to the challenge. “First we had to remove all the wax which was a big job. The surface of the board is curved so the boys had to work around that. Also it was a much larger surface area to paint than most of the boys’ previous artwork,” she said.

Descriptions of the artwork, together with a map of Aboriginal Australia showing the boys’ tribes and where they are from, accompany each artwork. There are also some skateboards on show, which were created by some of the boys during their Art classes.

Students and staff from the Yakanarra Community School also came to the opening. Yakanarra is one of the remote schools Christ Church visits as part of its Indigenous immersion program.

The exhibition will be on display until the end of Term 3. Parents and the wider community are encouraged to view the exhibition in the Old Boys’ Gallery during school hours or by special arrangement.