Thank you to Sara Colville for her organisation of the IB Visual Arts exhibition on Monday September 24th. Jackson Reid spoke confidently and elegantly on his art practice and his IB experience in the company of fellow artists from TIGS' Graduating year. Jackson's work is varied and thoughtful and acknowledges both reflection and collaborative practice, as well as a keen sense of humour.
Sara Colville's speech from the night:
Firstly, I would like to thank The Illawarra Grammar School for hosting our collaborative exhibition this evening.
It is my great honour to be part of the official opening of The IB Diploma Program Visual Arts exhibition.
These exhibitions not only provide young people with a good platform to develop and express their creativity, exploring multiple ways of seeing and making through visual arts creation and appreciation, but they also enable the public to appreciate the essence of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
This evening the IGC embraces the quintessence of creativity.
Sir Ken Robinson defines creativity as the process of having original ideas that have value, he acknowledges that “There are two other concepts to keep in mind: imagination and innovation” and that “Imagination is the root of creativity.”
Human creativity drives us forward as a species. It’s this unique ability to harness thoughts and ideas that has produced everything from the first sharpened stick, to the wheel, to the space shuttle, to the micro-processor.
It’s this innovation and imagination that will continue to bring forward unprecedented levels of achievement in terms of our mastery over nature.
Yet despite our incredible capacity for creativity and imagination, there’s very little we actually understand about the creative process. Where do we get our great ideas, those sparks of insight that drive us forward as a species?
How do we harness our own minds to produce incredible works of art, clever intentions, and new creations? Why can we be focused on a problem for days, months, even years, only to have a solution appear suddenly one day as if from nowhere?
While we may not truly understand the nature of creativity and the imagination (at least, not yet), we can still continue to apply ourselves in order to benefit from the rewards that come from focused concentration and those brief moments of inspiration that hit us like lightning bolts.
Jean Piaget believes that “The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative and discoverers”.
The artworks of Renee Ellis, Adien Wingate, Riley Cross and Jackson Reid surround us in the IGC this evening. On behalf of their Visual Arts teachers I would formally like to acknowledge how very proud we are of you all, you have truly demonstrated global significance, your creative talents and sustainability through the Arts.
We have had the privilege of being a part of these students artistic journeys as inquirers, watching them grow as creative thinkers by reflecting, while they have developed their knowledge of visual arts through a diverse range of media.
Jackson, Riley, Aiden and Renee you are at a time of your lives where you as innovators can create anything that you put your minds to, you have the foundational skills to be able to do that.
Paul Klein points out that “creatives have better access to problem solving, and can make the world a better place if they are sufficiently empowered”.
Remember that you are not here to merely make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.
You must be a creative change agent, navigating and operating in this ever-changing global world. Art is our diplomacy, use it to make a difference. Be of service to our community, our country, to our planet. Have passion. Speak out when necessary. Be kind to one another. Help somebody. Use those amazing gifts that each one of you have been given for good, use art as a vehicle for change.
My final advise to you, as I have said to each one of you before is use your head to inquire and be informed, your heart to reflect and be moved and your hands to act and be involved. Continue to be global citizens and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
Edward de Bono once said “There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”
Whether or not these students will further their education or profession in the arts and creative industries, I am sure they will contribute their creativity and arts knowledge to the economic, social and cultural development of the countries or regions in which they choose to live in the future.
I hope that you will all continue to work together for the promotion of art and creativity, as well as cross-cultural friendship and harmony for the bountiful life of tomorrow.