Senior School Wednesday, 22 Jun 2022

Bugsy Malone Production

This has been a production season like no other and when recognising the hard work of this amazing cast, the students who so willingly understudied throughout the rehearsal process should be congratulated and acknowledged. Without the assurance of playing those roles in performances, students enthusiastically volunteered to cover unavoidable absences to ensure we have a production to share with you today – my sincerest thanks to a cast that kept this show going. The ‘Bugsy Malone’ rehearsal season had been about a spirit of inclusiveness and a strong team culture towards a common goal. The cast members were generous, kind, thoughtful and hard-working during a season that fluctuated with uncertainty and an ever-changing rehearsal environment.

There are many parents, colleagues and theatre professionals who assisted in putting this show together – thank you to all who supported our 2022 Aquinas College Production. I am extremely appreciative to have worked with an incredibly talented staff and student Creative Team, who’s vision and ideas were the driving strength behind every scene, moment, song, and choreographed movement within the show. Their combined student-centred approach and attention to detail is what has made this experience dynamic and worthwhile. I’d like to especially thank our Musical Director, Mr Chris McMillan, who’s expertise and outstanding musicianship have raised the calibre of this production to a standard worthy of the Heath Ledger Theatre.

‘Bugsy Malone’ is a musical that has everything – fun songs, memorable characters, and a quirky script. It is a musical that somehow connects so well with young actors. We hope you enjoyed it!

Sonja Vaswani
Director

This production marked the beginning of another chapter in the College’s long-standing history of musical theatre productions, and we welcomed Mrs Sonja Vaswani to the Arts team at Aquinas in the role of Director.

Beginning the year in the grips of a pandemic made the rehearsal process for this show a challenge. Our students rehearsed outdoors in small groups in the early stages. They covered each other’s roles when some were in isolation and learnt their parts online where necessary, displaying admirable versatility and persistence. Whilst many schools made the decision to cancel their show for this year, we are proud to have persevered and to have finally arrive at the point of production at the incredible State Theatre.

Our admiration and thanks to all students in the cast and their families for being prepared to work with us in these unusual times. My thanks also to the incredibly talented staff who so willingly gave their time and expertise.

Musically, the preparation for our show was interesting. When Alan Parker decided to direct Bugsy Malone for film in 1976 using child actors, many of the young stars cast then were younger than most of our cast members are. Consequently, many of the resulting recordings of the show feature children’s voices. Our challenge was to produce a more mature sound than the original recordings – another task which was willingly accepted by our students! We hope you enjoyed their efforts in bringing ‘Bugsy Malone’ to life.

Chris McMillan
Music Director

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Senior School Monday, 20 Jun 2022

Essential Skills for Visual Arts

Recently we had the pleasure of having local artist Jenny Davies hold several portrait workshops with our Senior School art students. Jenny is a Lester Portrait Prize finalist and passionate about all things art. She worked with the students on creating a portrait from beginning to end, focusing on things like compositional techniques, drawing from life and photographs, recognising tonal value in images and how to translate that into a painting, as well as workshopping colour theory. All these skills are essential for the students to better develop their visual language, and how they progress in the art program. They had a great time and produced the beginnings of some wonderful artworks.

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Senior School Tuesday, 10 May 2022

ATAR Visual Arts Excursion

On Monday 9 May 2022, Year 11 and 12 ATAR Visual Arts students visited the Art Gallery of WA and checked out this year’s amazing PULSE perspectives exhibition, which showcases about 50 select year 12 art students from WA from last year. The students then had an amazing tour through some of the AGWA collection and discussed critical thinking in relation to visual art. After this, they hit the streets and had a tour of Perth’s street art, and discovered all of the public art available in the city. Thank you so much to Jenny and Adie who were their tour guides for the day!

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Senior School Tuesday, 03 May 2022

Photography Competition Results

Congratulations to all the students who entered this years photography competition. The theme this year was “A moment in time”, and everyone interpreted this in their own way to produce some amazing photographs. Official awards will be handed out at the formal awards ceremony at the end of the year.

The winners are:

First place: David Scott Year 11 for his photograph ‘Stadium at Capacity’

Second Place: Logan Nixon Year 8 for his photograph ‘Sunset 1’

Third Place: Marcus Taylor Year 12 for his photograph ‘Pinkys’

Highly Commended: Noah Myers Year 7 for his photograph ‘Restful Repose’

Peoples Choice Award: Akashan & Anoshan Ganapathipillai for their photograph ‘Untitled 1’

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Arts Wednesday, 27 Apr 2022

West Australian PULSE Exhibition

Congratulations to Matthew Cox and Nathan Mahney (Class of 2021) whose artworks are on display in The West Australian PULSE exhibition at the Art Gallery of WA (AGWA) until July.

Matthew and Nathan’s artworks are amongst 49 artworks by 2021 Year 12 graduates from 32 school across WA.

The artworks on display were chosen from over 300 entries, selected on merit, creativity and individuality. The artistic vision and talent on display is inspiring and provides an insight to the social concerns of our younger generation, a visit to the Art Gallery of WA for this exhibition is highly recommended.

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Junior School Wednesday, 24 Nov 2021

JS T4 Visual Arts

It seems as the end of every year approaches, we think ‘how did that happen, where did all that time go?’ And then taking a little time to reflect on all the activities the boys have been engaged in, we quickly realise there have been few periods of repose!

A quick look in the rear vision mirror reminds us we have embarked on investigations into aspects of Australian Art history through the 9 x 5 projects across the Junior School Art program, attempting to bring the Australian Impressionists into a more contemporary context. Local and international artists were employed in that endeavour, from Howard Taylor to the American Jasper Johns. Coincidentally one major artwork commemorating the recent reopening of the State Art Gallery is one of a local artist – Christopher Pease with work from his ‘Target’ series. In this series he quotes Jasper Johns’ work, demonstrating Art doesn’t happen in a vacuum, we must always be seeking a wider context, we inform others, they inform us.

As the Year 6 students prepare to depart the Junior School for the Middle School they have been working on some Steampunk self-portraits. They have had to consider shape and scale as they use mechanical imagery with a Victorian aesthetic in completing their design. In years to come, the Teck Deck self-portrait they have completed will hopefully act as a time capsule evoking memories of their time in Junior School.

Manipulating soaked cane into shapes reminiscent of the Marshall Islander’s Ocean-going maps has been the area of investigation for the Year 4’s; learning that the properties of tensile cane can be modified by soaking in water, shaped to the desired form, and left to dry maintaining the new form. The Year 4’s have borrowed techniques and materials used historically to make their own contemporary artworks.

The Year 3’s have been working on colour, using a colour wheel to help inform and guide their colour choices as they represent the Aquinas College Campus viewed from Google Earth. It has been a joy to watch the myriad colour combinations so enthusiastically explored!

Wearing safety goggles has been a novelty for the Year 5’s as they use soft Aluminium wire to represent tools, hand tools and power tools. Drawing in 3D using wire as line provided a suitable challenge, the students having to problem solve how to depict a substantial volume using an insubstantial material!

Exploring negative and positive space inspired by the artist Sarah Robey and her painted artworks has been the focus of the Year 2’s. They have experimented using 9 different media to produce 1 painted piece interpreting the Art Element Space.

Inspired by African Mud Cloth, the Year 1 students are exploring Shape, Pattern, Repetition. They are exploring different painting techniques to produce a single painting on cloth.

One of the last major events on the College Calendar is the Senior School Art Exhibition, this year once again including Design and Technology and Media and the Junior School. For the Junior School, the exhibition is doubly poignant. The younger students are always so excited to see the work and ideas embodied in the work of the older students. But for us the Junior School teachers, we see bygone students doing amazing work, extending and developing in ways inconceivable when we saw them in Year 5 for example!

Once again, the Jacaranda Trees are in full bloom across the campus, bejewelling the trees in soft mauve, this heralds the end of the year, and what a year it has been!

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Senior School Monday, 22 Nov 2021

Flying at Dawn - Art Exhibition

Thank you to everyone who visited the Art, Media, Design and Technology Exhibition last week.

It was wonderful to see so many students, parents and grandparents visit the exhibition and celebrate the talents of our students.

The votes for the Peoples Choice Award have been counted and I am delighted to announce that Matthew Cox, ‘Volare al’alba’ (Flying at dawn) as the most favoured artwork and the clear winner of the Peoples Choice Award.

He was followed closely by Nathan Manhey for his work ‘Trashed’ and in 3rd place was Aaron Chan Kai, congratulations!

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