Creative group efforts rewarded at Clancy Prize
Judges looked for elements of nature, sincerity, and to be taken to the edge of what words can describe to determine the winning artworks of the 2015 Clancy Prize for Student Religious Art.
The students behind the 72 works on display at Australian Catholic University’s McGlade Gallery took their artistic cue from the words of Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment.
Collaborative whole class works swept the pool of ACU School of Arts awards, with Holy Spirit Catholic College Lakemba, Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich, and Marist College Eastwood taking the three prizes.
Marist College Eastwood’s Year 7 collaborative work was a colourful array of paper mache creatures that, with their hybrid nature, resembled the chimaera of Greek mythology. Titled We Are All God’s Creatures it gained an ACU School of Arts award and was described by the judges as “joyous”.
Steven Lee said the class created them by merging two or six animals together, from lorikeets and gorillas to penguins and kangaroos.
“First we just did simple shapes, then went to 3D and used paper and wires to get the base of it. “Mine is the hammerhead shark mixed with a thorny devil [an Australian lizard] and a scorpion,” he said.
Classmate James Rickwood’s ‘Pangaroo’ – a kangaroo and penguin combined – was displayed alongside creatures that drew on the characteristics of lions, fish, reptiles, birds with colourful plumage, and gorillas.
“It was very fun,” James said.
“You’d walk into class and be told ‘Just keep going boys, go ahead, have fun’ and we took about a month coming in at lunch times to get it done.”
The Holy Spirit students behind On the Shores of Lakemba created beautiful curved tiles in blue and green hues that contrasted concrete and brick buildings with nature. In My Spirituality Unmasked , students from Marist Sister’s College Woolwich individualised a series of venetian masks with feathers, leaves and ears to represent their own spirituality.
The Executive Director’s Award was given to another collaborative effort – Canticle.
The panelled painting of St Francis preaching to the birds beneath a tree was done by an extension Art group of seven Year 8 students from Holy Cross College Ryde, who spent a day and extra classes on the work. “Each person worked on a panel and then you brought it together and made adjustments to the whole thing,” said Ryan Curtin, 13.
“We first researched about the man and found paintings of him that we liked,” said Buddy Hagge, 13. “We added a kangaroo and lion because he loved nature and animals.”
Now in its 16th year, The Clancy Prize for Student Religious Art is open to students from secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney. The Catholic Education Office organises the event and Australian Catholic University exhibits the work at its’ McGlade Gallery in Strathfield. The main prize is named in honour of Cardinal Clancy, the second prize for exhibition co-founder Brian Jordon, and third prize for Monsignor Tony Doherty, who is one of the judges.
“Be praised, my Lord, for the gift of life, for changing dusk and dawn, for touch and scent and song.”
– St Francis of Assisi
Bishop Terry Brady, Sr Rosemary Crumlin, Monsignor Tony Doherty, Lachlan Warner.
- Executive Directors Award: Canticle, Year 8 collaborative work, Holy Cross College Ryde
- Judges Commendation: Key to Life, Sarah Sanskin, St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove
- ACU School of Education Award (3 prizes):
- But for the love of a mother, Andreas Damouras, Rosebank College
- Reflections, Emily Plateel, St John Bosco College Engadine
- The Spectacle of Pedagogy, Nicholas Kartsiotis, St Marys Cathedral College
- ACU School of Arts Award (3 prizes):
- By the Shores of Lakemba, Year 9 collaborative work, Holy Spirit Catholic College Lakemba
- My Spirituality Unmasked, Year 8 collaborative work, Marist Sisters College Woolwich
- We Are All God’s Creatures , Year 7 collaborative work, Marist College Eastwood
- Brian Jordan Award: Dad, Joseph Alofi, Rosebank College
- Monsignor Tony Doherty Award: Which Side Are You Drawn To? Michaela Wong, Kincoppal-Rose Bay
- The Clancy Prize: Infinite God’s Love, Charlotte Rowland, Loreto Kirribilli