Collaborative art project unveiled

What was once a bland, grey wall is now a focal point of colour and creativity at St Stephen’s School, Duncraig, with a large-scale mural unveiled today, topping off a six-week art project held in collaboration with Curtin University Artist in Residence Stephen Peacock.

St Stephen’s School students from Years 4, 5 and 10 teamed up with Mr Peacock to design and create the mural, which spans 36 square metres across the outside wall of the School’s Lorraine Paul Centre.

“The Year 10s were great from the get go, were well prepared and were eager to take ownership of what they were creating,” Mr Peacock said.

“[They] did a great job mentoring the [younger students] with their contributions.”

Mr Peacock, who specialises in mural artwork and sculpture, said he valued working with the School on a project that will have such a lasting impact.

“The experience I've gained from St Stephen’s has been an amazing opportunity. All of the students should be extremely proud in producing such a huge artwork that will be a part of the school from now on,” he said.

Native flora and fauna inspired the design, with quokkas, cockatoos and kangaroo paw coming together to create a colourful natural landscape.

“From the students’ flora and fauna designs, we played with scale to compose an interesting design which can be viewed from various distances,” Mr Peacock said.

St Stephen’s School Duncraig Teaching Artist Mrs Claire Davenhall said the design perfectly revitalises what was once a plain space.

“Stephen embraced the size and scale [of the wall] and developed a beautiful composition and colour scheme that compliments the building and spirit of St Stephen’s School,” she said.

Large whiteboard squares sit among the illustrations in the mural, transforming the space into and outdoor classroom and encouraging creativity among students of all ages.

“Our sports teacher commented that he would be using the integrated whiteboard for students to keep score during his games, as [the mural] overlooks the Primary Oval. He now has a kookaburra team and a cockatoo team!” Mrs Davenhall said.

This isn’t the first time the School has hosted an Artist in Residence, with artists such as Camilla Loveridge, Andy Quilty and Daniela Dlugocz all popping by to share their wisdom and skill with students, often spending days at the School conducting intricate art workshops.

“It’s really been important to have artists involved in projects from the start, they provide up-to-date professional knowledge and experience to make the project successful,” Mrs Davenhall said.

“It’s also great professional development for teachers, to work along industry professionals and learn alongside their students. This type of mirror teaching builds rapport with their students.”

St Stephen's School Principal Donella Beare said the mural epitomises the collaborative nature of St Stephen’s School.

“The project ultimately demonstrates the community nature of our School; witnessing so many hands come together to create one masterpiece was wonderful to witness,” Mrs Beare said.  

“It’s inherently important to bring colour and vibrancy to our campuses to encourage student creativity, so to uncover a new space where students can thrive is exciting for our School. Well done to everyone involved!”

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