After 32 gruelling years working as a high school art teacher, Helen Potters (58) can confirm that 98% of her students have at some point, submitted a photograph of a tree, footpath or fence, and linked it conceptually to some kind of political issue.
“In my time I’ve heard it all. A fence is a symbol for refugee policy – or you know at a high level a commentary about the suffering, isolation and sexual desire and unemployment in 1930’s America.”
Year 10 student Sarah Bridges says, “I took heaps of photos of bark, like really zoomed in pictures of trees. To be honest, the idea was better in my head, than the final product. I need some kind of conceptual meaning to go with it, that’s 50% of the mark.
“I’ve been googling heaps about sexuality – it’s a really big deal at the moment. So I guess the bark is like a layer of skin on the tree… and you know, what’s on the outside of the tree (or metaphorically, a person) is only skin deep. Mrs Potters will love the concept, I bet she’ll think I spent heaps of time thinking about it, too.”
Mrs Potters, sitting in the staff room while marking comments, “These kids are so fucked up… I mean – they have some deep seeded issues.”
Below: Sarah Bridges (16) still life photography, “Skin deep”
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