Art and Photography students go to Melbourne

On the 30th of June, the art and photography students departed from Auckland to Melbourne, on a trip we had all been waiting excitedly for all year. After arriving at Melbourne airport, we then checked into our hotel, ‘Best Western’, before we went out for lunch. Our first gallery to visit was the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, a national museum of film, video-games, digital culture and art. Here we were allowed to explore and see the different processes involved in film, as well as admire the architecture of the building. Afterwards, we went down the streets of Melbourne, visiting a streetwear shop called ‘Culture King’ that led to a roadside filled with graffiti art, including spray paint designs. After appreciating the pieces painted over the walls, as well as taking our photos, we rode a tram to Docklands to see the Firelight festival. For many of us, this was our first time riding a tram, the adventure to come excited me, even when we almost missed the tram on the way back from the festival. The celebration included food trucks, numerous musicians performing through the night and was located at the harbour giving us an opportunity to take in the beauty of Melbourne.

The next day, we visited the grand Melbourne Museum. The entrance held water fountains and various other beautiful pieces of modern architecture, providing an ethereal view and already making the museum intriguing, yet our journey had just begun. The museum included exhibitions unlike anything we’d ever seen, such as ‘The Mind’, an exhibit which displayed how your mind and other factors in your body work. One exhibit that I found particularly interesting was the one which displayed creative content from young artists, such as films, app designs and labels for their companies. After that we went on a walk to the Centre for Contemporary Photography, lucky enough to have a guided tour. The photography shown was fascinating, especially as the photographs each held their own story which was displayed in the exhibition in their own unique ways. A long day of walking and visiting the galleries was now over and we decided to take a break in our hotel rooms before we set out once again, this time onto a Yarra River Dinner Cruise. The view on the boat was breathtaking and we enjoyed the company of each other over dinner.

We visited another gallery on the third day, this time the National Gallery of Victoria where we were lucky enough to see the ‘MoMA’ exhibition of modern and contemporary art, including artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Umberto Boccioni. After viewing the artwork in the exhibition, we were transported to the Docklands Shopping Mall where we split up and explored what seemed to be an endless mall. When we re-grouped, we went on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. I was anxious for this as I have a deadly fear of heights, but the view we saw above was so worth it. Dinner came and went and we were fortunate enough to visit CAVES, an artist-run gallery space afterwards. This was an interesting experience because previously we had seen large galleries which were state-owned however, this gallery was owned by two artists rather than provided for, making our visit here very inspiring and educational. We had hot chocolate and coffee afterwards while reflecting on the places we had been that day.

Then came our last day. We spent it walking around the city, before splitting off into smaller groups to explore the shops and what Melbourne had to offer. We re-grouped at 2pm, most of our arms holding shopping bags, to be taken back to the airport after checking out of the hotel. We were all so appreciative for the opportunity we had to visit Melbourne and are especially grateful to our teachers Mrs Palmer and Mrs Manuel who had taken time out of their holiday to give us this once in a lifetime opportunity. Until next time Melbourne!

Club of the Week

Media Team by Coralie Smith

If you like being up to date about what is going on in the school, writing insightful articles to bring awareness of events or taking photos and capturing the culture of the school, then Media Team is the club for you.

Media Team is a student-run club that takes place every Tuesday lunchtime. The media liaison on the Student Executive works with a team of eager students that have a range of diverse interests and connections, to find out what events are happening inside and outside of school. The students then take photos and write articles to post on all social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook in order to reach our audience of students, parents and alumni. The Media Team also works with the ACG marketing department to reach the wider community and advertise the best aspects of student life at ACG Strathallan.

Being a part of this team allows all members to work together and collectively showcase a student’s point of view of everyday school life which in turn encourages other students to take an interest of what happens and what is available for them in school.

NAPTA Nomination

NAPTA Nomination for Year 13 Student

Congratulations to Oliver Winter in Year 13 who was a nominee for Best Male Lead in a Play in the Northern Area Performance Theatre Awards.

The NAPTAs recognises amateur performances, dramatic or musical, within the Northern Region Amateur Theatre industry, which stretches from Kerikeri to Pukekohe, and Oliver was nominated for his role in the Papakura Theatre Company’s stage-adaptation of Blackadder II, an 80s British Comedy TV show about Elizabethan England. Oliver played the role of Lord Percy, a less-than-intelligent sidekick to the title character, who often deludes himself with the idea that he is good with the ladies.

Although unsuccessful in winning the award, the play itself won the NAPTA award for Best Play, as well as taking both Best Male and Female Supporting Characters in a Play.

Oliver starred in our own musical production of the Wizard of Oz last year, playing the Scarecrow, and it is great to see his talents recognised. We look forward to watching his acting career grow!

Shakespearean Insight

It was a scorching day as 41 Year11 students headed out to the Pop-Up Globe at Ellerslie Events Centre to view their very popular performance of Macbeth. The fans and iced bottles of water for sale aided our ability to endure the two-and-a-half-hour show as groundlings.

The aim of the trip was to provide us with a better visual understanding of the play, which it most definitely succeeded in achieving. Everything from the blood and gore to the outstanding acting, made sure that the story would embed itself into our minds. It gave us the context we needed to proceed with our English literature study of the play for our IGCSE exams later this year.

Personally, having Shortland Street star, Amanda Billing, playing Lady Macbeth was an interesting way to engage in the show as I have enjoyed watching her in the television series for quite some time. But her great acting skills and interpretation of the role was not the only thing to remark on. Almost every other character maintained great energy and enthusiasm throughout the play, keeping us (literally) on our feet as they fought and cried and laughed and danced on stage. Shakespearean banter was shared between the audience and actors during parts of the show, with some of us ‘wearing’ the blood and urine sprayed liberally into the groundling area during some scenes. The realistic nature of it made many of us squirm.

The Pop-up Globe was an amazing experience for students and staff. It was a great opportunity to expand our grasp of Shakespeare and allowed us to approach learning in a way that couldn’t be taught through a textbook. It will certainly make our reading and understanding of ‘the Scottish play’ much more enjoyable.

Shakespeare Alive: The Merchant of Venice

Shakespeare Alive: The Merchant of Venice

The one school trip that our teachers actually want drama on, our annual visit to the Pop-up Globe Theatre, took place last Friday. Rather aptly named, the faithful replica of William Shakespeare’s theatre reappears every year in the gardens of the Ellerslie Racecourse.

With several productions on stage throughout the season, it gives Language, Literature, and Drama students a rare opportunity to watch the texts they study performed on the stage for which they were written. Having studied ‘The Merchant of Venice’ for IGCSE English last year, viewing this performance added a new dimension to our appreciation and understanding of the play and enabled us to consider the performance aspects of the drama texts we will be studying for AS and A Level this year.

The talented cast certainly brought the drama to life; highly skilled, comedic, and nuanced performances truly breathed new life into Shakespeare’s work. There were also plentiful audience interactions, as well as surprisingly relevant subtext and humour, which allowed us to form a more personal comprehension of this classic play.

There wasn’t a single one of us who didn’t enjoy the experience – not bad for writing some four centuries old.

Club of the Week: Magic Club

Our school has a variety of clubs, ranging from the regulars to more interesting groups, full of people sharing their talents together and having fun with each other. Clubs meet once a week, and one, in particular, meets every Tuesday lunchtime: the Magic Club.

I went there along with two of my friends this lunchtime to see what they did and meet all the fascinating people who’ve decided to share their love of magic. Our ICT teacher, Mr Reid, runs it and immediately wowed us with an impressive card trick of his. His students clearly follow in his footsteps and showed us some of their favourite card tricks, mesmerizing us as they got the trick right every single time.

They all seemed to thoroughly enjoy seeing the reactions they provoked in us and laughed amongst each other, all knowing the secret to the trick. Several of the kids told us their reasons for being drawn towards magic and it was incredibly touching knowing that some were carrying on a family tradition or truly just adored it and dreamed of pursuing it. Every week they get together and plan and discuss tricks, sharing with each other new discoveries and exciting tools that they’ve brought to aid their tricks. It’s a fun place to be, and even more fascinating to be an onlooker, seeing the real magic they can create and the sparkle in their eyes.

Club of the Week: Media team

The Media team for 2017 is a team made up of 8 senior students who have a passion for writing articles, contributing to Strathallan’s social media or taking photos at school and community events. The team is led by Mrs Pryor, the Deputy Principal and English teacher, along with the Media Liaison, Janelle Ng-Waishing, a year 13 student who is part of the executive committee for Student Council.

Strathallan’s student blog, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook are all covered by the media team and we report on all school events, sports, student or team achievements as well as community events our school is involved in.

Every Thursay lunchtime we meet to discuss upcoming events, contribute new and creative ways for things to be posted and go over articles/photos that have been sent through by the team. The weekly meetings are always fun and inclusive of all members, and it is a great way to meet new people and get to know others with the same interests!

Joining the media team gives you the opportunity to have your writing and photographs publicly posted. The media team has weekly pieces that are used to recognise the clubs around the school, Club of the Week, where a media team member visits the weekly club meeting and reports back about what they do and why they do it. We also do #ArtoftheWeek on Instagram where an english, art, photography, design or music piece is chosen to be posted every Friday so it can be acknowledged by others.

Club of the Week: Writers Club

In the often-sunny room of F23, every Monday lunch, a group of students come together for the Writers Club, a sometimes collaborative, sometimes individual time where they all work on personal writing projects.

The Writers Club is a very open and free experience, the number of attendees fluctuating on a weekly basis, depending on whether individual students have anything to bring along and work on, or to seek feedback from others about. The whole point of it is to encourage people to write for their own enjoyment, not out of obligation for either homework, or an upcoming assessment.

With a variety of resources on offer, ranging from magazines from the 1990s, filled with tips on writing that are still highly pertinent today, to Mr Dearman, the club’s leader and author of multiple books himself, right down to the students themselves, who are all extremely positive about their writing. Together, they work on plots, characters and writing prompts, the latter of which are provided on occasion.

The students are all positive about their hobby, and if you have even a passing interest in how enjoyable creative writing can be, the Writers Club is a highly-recommended visit.

Kiran Morar ‘Your Education New Zealand’ runner-up

Year 12 art student, Kiran Morar, has been accepted for a student exchange to Italy for the Summer through ‘Your Education New Zealand’. He applied for a scholarship by making a poster about why he wanted to go and submitted this along with a one page essay. Kiran created a beautiful postcard and painting and won runner up with a prize of $1000.