Students from De La Salle College in Caringbah were named major winners at the 23rd annual Clancy Prize Religious Art Exhibition held in July.
The exhibition, held at the McGlade Gallery on the Australian Catholic University campus in Strathfield, is a celebration of student creativity and spirituality expressed through the visual arts, inspired by Cardinal Edward Clancy.
This year, 68 works of art by pupils in grades 7 to 11 were exhibited in 150 Catholic schools in Sydney.
Grade 10 students Lachlan Whitehill, Peter Petrou, Max Lukotsievskiy, Jonathan Passas and Jesse Stone were announced as the proud recipients of the $1,000 Brian Jordan Award.
The group presented a collaborative sculptural work titled Twelve Baskets who explored the scripture passage “The Food of the 5000” from John 6:1-15.
A school spokesperson said that to prepare for the Clancy Award, the five students attended a second term workshop and took part in an intensive two-day holiday workshop to learn traditional and contemporary approaches to basketry.
“It was a challenging task for the students who spent many hours mastering the craft skills and techniques to make the collaboration work,” the spokesperson said.
To create the artwork, they used the ancient basket weaving technique of weaving (predating pottery or stone carving) to make 12 baskets.
Each basket was woven using 12 strands of rope to form the spokes or pegs. These 12 strands created the base of the baskets, giving them strength while helping to maintain the overall shape.
“The number 12 has been used repeatedly throughout our work to symbolize the 12 baskets of bread that remained with the disciples after Jesus fed the 5000,” the students said.
“We chose to weave baskets because they can be understood as functional objects, objects of beauty as well as complex networks of knowledge transmission.
“Just like the scriptures that remind us not only of the beauty that God offers us here on earth, but of the wonderful things that can happen when we trust in him and follow him.”
College Principal Peter Buxton thanked the families and community members who attended the grand opening in support of the student exhibitors.
“The Clancy Prize is a fantastic opportunity for students to see their work professionally curated in a gallery and to view other work produced by students in the Archdiocese of Sydney,” said Mr Buxton.
“The quality of contemporary exhibition space at ACU provided a fantastic backdrop for this showcase of outstanding student work in the visual arts.”