There is a wide array of activities—physical, social, and cultural—that fill students’ mornings, afternoons and evenings. As we emerge from this period of remote learning, and everyone has had time to reflect, I wonder if now is an opportunity to reconsider how we’re spending our time?
Are there new habits we’ve formed with our families, and for ourselves that we should be holding on to as we reintegrate back into school life? What, on balance, is most important to each of us?
Something of incredible importance and value to me personally is the Arts. Immersing myself in the creative expression and raw humanity of another, and being transported, invited to view the world through a new or different perspective is something I find powerful, and at the same time, humbling—much like the performances of last week’s virtual Arts Fest.
A true celebration of our culture, the contributions of staff and students, both remotely and on-campus, were woven together by Director of Creative Arts, Mr Andrew Pennay, into a rich tapestry that was a joy to experience. I wonder if this virtual world that we, the audience, find ourselves inhabiting, is altering our experience of the Arts, making it a more personal, authentic experience? I wonder how this affects the performer, the artist, the musician?
When I observe students at the end of a Drama Production, I can’t help but smile at their overt excitement and unfiltered joy. Months of intense effort, deep concentration, and hard work have been realised. And, just as they’ve given of themselves to their audience, so too they’ve fed off the expectation, nervous energy, and various emotional responses their audience has presented to them, as they’ve travelled through the narrative together. It’s this emotional connection between artist and audience that makes a performance magical. The ‘goosebump’ moments, the unexpected tears, the standing ovation—these are all the result of a deep connection to a moment, crafted with care and shared without reservation—a gift, from performer to audience.
Yet as these performers continue to share their gifts with the world, we find we’re unable to fulfill our role as live audience, for now. Ultimately, each expression of the Arts is one of relationship, emotional connection, intellectual challenge, and deeper meaning between the creator and consumer. If we don’t value and treasure each expression of creativity as a device of beauty in its own right, then we all lose a divine part of our humanity. So, reflecting on my own time and how I wish to spend it as we begin to emerge from this period of social distancing, I’ve decided it will be in support of the Arts. The show must go on.
Ms Ellena Papas
Dean of Co-curriculum