Where’s your country?

Two talented Year 5 International Grammar School (IGS) artists, Ruby and Antigone “Tiggy”, received a Highly Commended award in the NSW Schools Reconciliation Challenge (SRC) creative competition.

“It was exciting and interesting seeing the other submissions,” Ruby said.

“I loved how each artwork had its own story and how the artworks submitted could all be interpreted in different ways.”

“It was amazing to see everyone’s artwork,” said Tiggy.

The SRC is an annual art and writing competition for NSW students from Year 5 to Year 9. It gives young people across the state an opportunity to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and reconciliation in an inventive way.

Tiggy’s work, Close the Gap, depicts two walls with a girl in between, trying to pull the walls together. There are Aboriginal quotes and sayings stringing between the walls.

“The pile of books she is standing on represents Aboriginal education growing, therefore closing the gap,” Tiggy wrote in her summary of the work.

“The other meaning of the quotes is that we should listen to the Aboriginal people, rather than just telling them what to do.”
Ruby’s work, Togetherness, is about “being the same, but different”.

“My artwork relates to reconciliation because there are two people that are not coloured in,” Ruby wrote.

“This represents the fact that everyone is equal no matter what colour your skin is, what your nationality is, or where you are from.”

Before the commencement of their artworks, Aboriginal Studies educator Jade Carr delivered a workshop outlining the main ideas of the competition theme, Where’s Your Country?

The students looked at different tribal groups and nations within NSW, and the connection between individuals and their land.

The workshop was inspiring for the students and they incorporated these ideas to create some magnificent pieces of work reflecting this theme. An official booklet was published including photographs of all of the competition winners as well as a description of the artwork.