A love story

When students entered the gates at Grimwade House on the first day of school this year, they were greeted with ‘love’ in the form of a magnificent sculpture created by 2020 Prep students. It was a wonderful moment in the School’s history.

Our artistic students were particularly excited about the prospect of sharing the love they feel at Grimwade House with new 2021 Prep students. Their collaborative project was an extension of their investigation into the life and art of Brazilian artist Romero Britto.

“The theme of love runs through much of Britto’s work,” explains Mrs Lee-Anne D’Paul, Head of Visual Art at Grimwade House. “As part of our learning, I asked students how and when they felt love at Grimwade House. They gave so many different responses like: “I feel loved by the teachers because they care about me.” and “I feel loved by my friends because we play games.”.

“Our discussions highlighted how magnificent the students’ feelings were, and how connected this was to intent of the artist,” says Lee-Anne. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring it all together into one project.”

All Prep students visually expressed their own personal messages of love on small squares of board in any way they wanted to, which was part of the learning about abstract art. A heart drawn using a black marker was a unifying element across each individual piece. The pallet was warm, although students could choose the medium they wished to use to create their artwork. Some used ink; others used paint pens, pastels, pencils, or crayons.

The individual pieces were then amalgamated onto a cardboard heart sculpture created by Lee-Anne and James Bonnici, the Grimwade House art technician. Maintenance staff helped create a stand to ensure the 2m high artwork could withstand outdoor conditions.

“It is clear that the new Prep students loved it,” says Lee-Anne. “In addition, so many parents of returning students sought me out to thank me and acknowledge the work that went into the artwork. They told me that the message they and their children received went beyond the imagery. After the year we had last year, it was the perfect symbol with which to arrive back on campus.”

The marvellous expression of love subsequently took pride of place in the Alfred Felton Hall foyer and is now on display in the Nigel Peck Centre for Learning and Leadership.