Catholic Education Melbourne
In the wake of the devastating bushfires that ravaged Australia, students have responded to the tragedy through art.
Caroline Egan, a Visual Art specialist, has been working with students at St Peter’s School
, Clayton, St Mary’s School
, St Kilda East, and St Joseph’s School
, Chelsea, on a faith-based inquiry unit to enhance students’ understanding of showing care and concern for those doing it tough.
The artworks depict the fires, but also offer messages of gratitude, support, love and care for those impacted. One of the learning intentions was for students to gain some insight into the hardship and devastation faced by members of the communities, as well as the natural environments.
This unit of work was inspired by Isaiah 42: 1–4 and 6–7, as well as a letter written by Bishop Vincent Long from the Diocese of Parramatta. The letter sends out a call to the way we respond with practical help and support to the recent devastating bushfires. It mentions that four years ago, Pope Francis issued an encyclical which was offered to us as a timely reminder that we are all interconnected with the web of creation and we need to live in harmony with it.
Students at the three schools created some poignant and heartfelt artworks, supported by personal written messages based on respect and love to those who the works were gifted. Various schools, first responders and community groups in fire-affected areas were sent artwork to let them know they are all in our thoughts and prayers during their recent hardships and the rebuilding of their communities.