Art and Exhibitions

St Joes on Show

Not even a threatening tornado and heavy rain could dampen the spirits at our inaugural ‘St Joes on Show’ in October 2022!

After all their hard work throughout the year, it was a privilege to see our Art and Technology students perform and display their various works for their friends, family and our staff to view.

And what a show it was! From drama and music performances, a media show reel, fashion parade, fabric exhibition, metal, wood and sculpture displays – the crowd was dazzled and delighted!

The VCE Art Exhibition Opening Night was a key highlight of the event, as was Donna facilitating Indiginous Art & the launch of the Clive Atkinson Mural Restoration.

Not to mention our Food Court facilitated by Mrs Gotch’s Year 9 Personal Best Class, VCAL and Julie Pearson.

A huge thank you to all the staff, parents and students who made the night possible and to everyone who came along to support the event!

We really do have a talented bunch of students at St Jospeh’s College and we look forward to showcasing their talents again in 2023!

The Living Justice Portrait Project 2020-21

The Living Justice Portrait Project is an initiative of St Joseph’s College in Echuca.  The intention of the project was to engage an artist to produce a set of portraits that would both celebrate Art and Culture and become a way of keeping the story of the Brigidine Sisters alive in the minds and hearts of all those who form part of the College community.

With the support of the College Leadership Team, artists were called to submit proposals to create 3 portraits of our patrons; Saint Brigid, Daniel Delany & Nano Nagle, who each embody the story of living justice.

There was an overwhelming response by a range of high-caliber artists interested in being involved.   After a lot of deliberation, artist Alisha Ryan was selected to create the portraits. 

Every fortnight Alisha touched base with a portrait group at St Joseph’s College, to check in on ideas and provide updates on the artworks.  The group identified early that permission or approval needed to be sought from the local Aboriginal community for Alisha to paint the cultural representations that were to form a port of the portraits.

Troy Firebrace seemed the most perfect choice for consultation.  Troy is a Yorta Yorta man, a practicing artist, and is an Aboriginal Education Officer for the Catholic Education Office Sandhurst.  He also consults on creative projects to oversee cultural sensitivities.

Troy attended one of the portrait online meetings and what evolved from there was beyond expectations.  

Troy and Alisha began collaborating, consulting, and sharing their stories as the artworks were being created.  Troy invited Alisha to share his studio space for a session so that they could work side by side, and this was reciprocated when Troy visited Alisha’s home studio so that they could continue to share space and creative processes.

The artists’ studio sessions involved sharing of rituals; a smoking ceremony upon Alisha’s arrival to Troy’s studio.  Lighting of Alisha’s eternal flame and working under the Saint Brigid cross that she had made from reeds when Troy entered Alisha’s creative space.

The creative process took place over 3 months I think you’d agree that the resulting portraits are evocative, intriguing and beautiful.

The three portraits speak of what it means to live justly and have fulfilled the College’s wish to prompt conversation about their patrons.

There are multiple stories within each artwork that speak of justice and provide examples of living that are selfless.

The narratives of each patron as depicted by Alisha and Troy, are bound by the impact that they have had in the formation of St Joseph’s College in Echuca.

The way Alisha and Troy collaborated to express the formation and creation of the land that we are a part of is truly beautiful.    They remind us that nothing can exist without creation of land and that the care for our environment and people is an uplifting experience.

The artworks are rich in story and cultural symbolism and importantly, they speak of something that is attainable.  Brigid, Daniel and Nano were people who aimed to live in the image of Jesus.  Their missions were to help vulnerable people and they always put the needs of others before their own.

These artworks remind us how wonderful it feels to prioritise humanity and the environment.  How beautiful and sacred Country is and how goodness radiates from living in the image of Jesus.

We hope that these portraits engage our students and community in meaningful, thoughtful dialogue about who we are, where we come from and where we are going.