It was hot. The crickets were just warming up for their summer accompaniment and listlessness had begun to sing its siren song in the classroom. The students could already smell the sea and feel the surf, “holidays hurry up”. They were tired.
We were studying a wonderful topic in Geography about environmental issues and the way they are being managed. We were faced with the reality of the impact on Mother Earth and the advent of the era of the Anthropocene. The class looked at: the tsunami of plastics that we are swimming against, overfishing and the sixth extinction, focusing on insect population decline, climate change and deforestation. Such big issues, all of vital importance and equally mind boggling, these topics are often hard to process.
The aim of the competition was for our youth to voice their hopes and concerns for the environment through a variety of art mediums. What better way to end our studies than creating change or dialogue around the issues we had studied.
We ended up choosing the painting by Shayla Oates, pictured below, titled 'The Consumer'. A big congratulations to Shayla for her really insightful piece, she highlighted what is at the core of our environmental plight and for her efforts, her painting came fourth in the contest!
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to photograph all of the completed pieces, some of which had limited life spans. Well done to Year 10 for opening your hearts and minds and voicing your reflections, and thank you for completing them in the limited time we had. The different mediums you used displayed the width and depth of your abilities and creativity.
Sometimes, with a little bit of effort, mixed with some heart and care, we can make a statement, spark a thread and create change that ripples out.
Nikki Treanor and Sandra Bain