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Week 41.

“The Purpose of Art is…

A Donut by Timothy on 18 October

…Washing the Daily Dust Off Our Souls” – Pablo Picasso

This Wednesday we held our school’s annual Arts Night. Having a years worth of blood, sweat and tears collectively on exhibition is a perfect opportunity for everyone to give themselves a pat on the back for their hard work.

First of all, let me just give you a little behind-the-scenes insight into what it is like setting up an exhibition. It is EXHAUSTING. You aren’t just plopping down a few tables and chucking a few clay pieces on top. The placement of each item is an art form in itself. At the end of the day, however, if it is the handwork of a few that means the enjoyment of many, you’ve just got to knuckle down and get on with it.

When you’re a student, I don’t think you realise the impact nights like this have on your future endeavours. I see them as a milestone which encourages you to keep going, rather than a celebratory end point. I think it allows people to connect with you on a different level or see you in a new light. It begs the question, why aren’t we doing this more often? – not just in the field of visual arts, but in a broad range of expertise.

I think it’s interesting how our society values some things so highly and disregard others. Look, anyone who knows me knows I am not an “athlete” in any sense, but don’t misconstrue what I’m about to say as anti-sport. It’s a comment that someone else made, which struck me in a, “oh, you’re right, it is too!” kind of way.

Why are school sport carnivals compulsory, but the school art exhibition not? One is a obligatory day in the sun, pulling at grass as you wait, while the other is an optional evening. Not everyone is interested in the arts, but then again not everyone is interested in athletics, either. I suppose it is just a reflection of Australian history; but aren’t we at a point where we can expand the definition of Western Australians to include art, culture and performance enthusiasts too?

(Again, not anti-sport, before anyone jumps down my throat!)

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