Mercy Together Project – Mercy Catholic College Chatswood
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Mercy Together Project

Mercy Together Project

The current global pandemic has changed the way we live and influence even the simplest traditions such as the right of passage for our Year 12 students. The class of 2020 have endured a very tough year with many interruptions to their study and changes to many of the traditions they would have experienced if not for COVID-19.

The ‘Mercy Together’ project is inspired by the well-known artist, JR who uses black and white portrait photographs of everyday people or people in difficult situations to confront controversial issues, raise awareness and bring people together. Inspired by JR’s ‘Inside Out’ project, our Year 10 Art students decided to give our Year 12 students a graduation gift, in the form of art.

Year 10 Art student Charlotte A explains the ‘Mercy Together’ project came to life as we started photographing our Year 12 students, College staff and students. Staff and students made funny faces and had the chance to get creative to make the project fun and bring a jovial feel to the pandemic.

The printed photographs where than stuck to a prominent wall within the College grounds using homemade glue made from cornflour, vinegar and water. As a team, we had students rolling the wall with glue, others gluing the back of photographs and students on ladders sticking the photos on the wall.

The photographs of the Year 12 students where printed on A3 sheets of paper and pasted in the centre of the wall so that they stood out. The College staff were also printed out on A3 sheets of paper and positioned as if they were holding up the Year 12 students on the side and looking over them from the top. With the rest of the students in the school, printed on A4 sheets of paper, surrounded the Year 12 students smiling or making different facial expressions. The letters are held by people and tilted at different directions to make this artwork fun and upbeat.

The black and white tone of the photographs creates unity, as well as the dots in the background, and allows the pastings to stand out against the coloured wall and surrounding environment. The dots provide repetition in the artwork, adding pattern and dimension rather than having a plain white background. The artwork is ephemeal as it will either get washed away in the rain, slowly deteriorate or it will have to be taken down. The artwork is a huge public art piece of pastings that encompass the entire school in support of our Year 12 students.

Caitlyn one of the Year 10 Art student reflects. The overall meaning and purpose of this project was to show our support for Year 12, as this year has been extremely unpredictable and difficult, therefore eliminating the possibility of many events, celebrations of their graduation and year as school seniors. We also wanted to bring our school community together after a period of being isolated through home based learning.

Additionally, the impact of the artwork has become apparent, as many students have watched intrigued as the project unfolded before their eyes. The project raised the mood of our school in many ways, as it was something new and exciting that each individual could admire and see how they fit into a bigger picture.

Our Year 12 students where touched by the amount of thought and effort with the College Vice Captain Sofie recognising that the artwork was a great reminder that in these uncertain times we are not alone, we are all apart of the Mercy community. Also echoing the feelings of the 2020 College Captain Brooke that despite this year being really tough and challenging, the love and support from the rest of community has made it so much easier.

Mrs Jane Lennon & Mrs Michelle Thomson
Visual Arts Teachers

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