Cherbourg time : young black and deadly art 2003-2007

Bonney, Geoffrey & Widmer, Peter Alan (2009) Cherbourg time : young black and deadly art 2003-2007. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Art is most often at the margins of community life, seen as a distraction or entertainment only; an individual’s whim. It is generally seen as without a useful role to play in that community. This is a perception of grown-ups; children seem readily to accept an engagement with art making.

Our research has shown that when an individual is drawn into a crafted art project where they have an actual involvement with the direction and production of the art work, then they become deeply engaged on multiple levels. This is true of all age groups.

Artists skilled in community collaboration are able to produce art of value that transcends the usual judgements of worth. It gives people a licence to unfetter their imagination and then cooperatively be drawn back to a reachable visual solution.

If you engage with children in a community, you engage the extended family at some point.

The primary methodology was to produce a series of educationally valid projects at the Cherbourg State School that had a resonance into that community, then revisit and refine them where necessary and develop a new series that extended all of the positive aspects of them. This was done over a period of five years.

The art made during this time is excellent. The children know it, as do their families, staff at the school, members of the local community and the others who have viewed it in exhibitions in far places like Brisbane and Melbourne. This art and the way it has been made has been acknowledged as useful by the children, teachers and the community, in educational and social terms.

The school is a better place to be. This has been acknowledged by the children, teachers and the community

The art making of the last five years has become an integral part of the way the school now operates and the influence of that has begun to seep into other parts of the community.

Art needs to be taken from the margins and put to work at the centre.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 34407
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Klaebe, Helen, Klaebe, Helen, Lavery, Peter, & Lavery, Peter
Keywords: Aboriginal, community, education, strong and smart, art, Indigenous art, childrens’ art, ration shed, collaboration, painting, printmaking, dingo, graffiti, creative maintenance, sculpture, Indigenous education, imagination, Cherbourg State School, Ratartat
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 08 Sep 2010 05:18
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:57

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