I would like to congratulate all the artists who are exhibiting in Objects and Echoes. The Charles Sturt University students who have produced the works included in this year’s online exhibition, are to be commended on the fine works they have produced and the many hours of study, research, experimentation, peer mentoring and resolution they have engaged in as part of Objects and Echoes development. What you see here is only a small part of the work they have developed as part of only one of many assessments they have to undertake during the semester.

The works you see in this exhibition are developed as part of ‘the project’ or Assessment 1, which is a significant part of the EMA442 course at CSU. The students undertake an artmaking task that aims to approximate the experience of a Year 12 Visual Arts student in NSW who undertakes the daunting task of producing a Body of Work. All Art Educators aim to be effective, considerate and knowledgeable teachers. Everyone who has undertaken this project has been exposed to some of the factors that influence and challenge Year 12 students each year, to be fully aware of what their students are going through is to be a more effective practitioner. In NSW there are 8842 High School students enrolled to study Visual Arts in 2018. Each one of these students must produce a Body of Work that displays both conceptual strength and meaning and technical resolution. It is exciting and daunting for these students as they work with their teacher to decide on a topic, theme, medium, approach and the develop their skills to produce a polished final work or series of works. By undertaking the Year 12 process for themselves this group of educators has gained incredible insight and developed resources, experiences and skills that will assist their future students.

The incredible range of responses, approaches, styles and material choices on display in Object and Echoes reflect the same wide-ranging styles that a Year 12 class might work with during the HSC year. Art Educators must be able to work in many mediums, styles and approach different students with a knowledge of who they are and how they will best learn and develop their skills, talents and abilities. The students in this exhibition worked together through the platform of Edmodo (which is essentially a Facebook-style platform for educators) regularly posting their progress, ideas and actions as they developed their works. They encouraged one another and offered one another valuable advice, gaining insights into ways they can shape future Year 12 class dynamics.

New, emerging and more traditional technologies were employed by the students as part of both their research, development and artmaking processes. These technologies will be employed by these educators in their future classrooms. The visually engaging and dynamic range of artworks that are exhibited in Objects and Echoes are a real privilege to explore. They are even more impressive when you consider how little time the artists had to complete these pieces for the exhibition.

We have been fortunate to employ the Chifley Home as a site for exploring, researching and understanding a time and place in our history that we may not yet have explored. To engage with the many objects found in the Chifley Home and as a result to discover so many different angles, elements and stories to tell as part of that exploration really demonstrates the power of art, every work remains original, dynamic and engaging due to the individual and personal responses of the artists.

I would like to thank the Chifley Home on behalf of Charles Sturt University and their School of Teacher Education students who are currently undertaking EMA442 – Curriculum Method 2: Visual Arts.​ - Bill Tink