Combined Schools Art Show displays breadth of student talent in Bendigo

Their styles could not be more different – one creates her work on computer, the other delicately embroiders fabric – and yet artworks from Bendigo students Rebekah Walker and Indigo Raja were this week hung in the same exhibition. 

The Combined Schools Art Show saw work from hundreds of the city’s government secondary school students put on display inside The Capital. 

Examples of painting, sculpture, fashion design and digital art 

Bendigo South East year 10 student Rebekah’s rendering of Justin Bieber, made entirely from the text of the pop star’s songs, was chosen for inclusion in the three-day exhibition.  

“I prefer to be on a computer, rather than using pencil and paper, because you can create a lot of things you couldn’t otherwise,” Rebekah said. 

School subjects like art and visual communication were a starting point for a career, with the BSE student hoping to pursue a future in marketing.

She hoped communities around Bendigo, including her hometown of Strathfieldsaye, would invest more in public art and creative activities, so residents could “express themselves and show what they can do”.  

Calling upon iconography of a different kind, Bendigo Senior Secondary College year 11 student Indigo fashioned a version of Hindi goddess Kali for the exhibition, using fabric and cloth. She took inspiration from her Indian heritage. 

Indigo also envisaged a career in the creative industries, hoping to ply her talents as an art therapist. 

She previously sought the assistance of an art therapist and said the experience was cathartic.  

BSE arts head Stephen Briggs said the wide array of work came about because students were exposed to different styles and techniques throughout their schooling. 

They were also able to take advantage of art on display in their own city, with exhibitions at the Bendigo Art Gallery and La Trobe University providing a rich source of inspiration. 

“A lot even draw on older artists, who we think they wouldn’t know.”

The official opening on Tuesday saw five students singled out for their work.

Judge and Capital manager David Lloyd selected works by Tahlia McCuskey (BSSC), Sage Butler (BSE), Isabella Hantas (Crusoe), Oh Moo Ku (Eaglehawk) and Holley McMullin (Weeroona) for special recognition.