Welcome to Western Riverina Arts - a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to develop, support and promote the arts and culture in Griffith, Leeton, Narrandera & Murrumbidgee. 
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Young minds blown with art

Students from Parkview Primary School had their minds broadened with a visit to the 'Automata: 3 is a magic number' exhibition at The Roxy Gallery.

The fifth year art class undertook a creative exercise under the guidance of artist Jo Roberts.

"There were 28 kids," said Ms Roberts. "Approximately two out of five indicated they had never visited an art gallery before."

"The response from the kids varied from complete disinterest, to confusion and worry about a process where there was not a 'right' way to do things, to enthusiasm and interest."

The creative exercise drew on artworks displayed in the 'Automata' exhibition, including collage and automatic poetry created using the cut-up technique pioneered by Tristan Tzara.

"The kids used an image of planet Earth as seen from space as the starting  point for the excercise we  did while they were in the gallery," said Ms Roberts.

"I asked what were some of the things that Earth is a symbol of and they were able to come up with a half dozen. This lead to a discussion about the fact that there can be many associations with an image and that none of the meanings are 'wrong'. I said that  I thought it was because our lives are all different and that the 'meaning' of art is the meeting place between symbols and our own life experience."

"The kids had all drawn an image of their own related to the image of earth, and we applied the cut-up technique to text from The Lorax, Louis Armstrong's song 'What a Wonderful World', and James Lovelock's Gaia theory to make poetry."

"We ran out of time, which seemed to fly by. Art does that," said Ms Roberts.

"They were amazed to hear that my artwork took several hours to complete, and thought this was a long time. For me this is a short amount of time, but they are used to having a mere 45 minutes to an hour in an art lesson -- which limits what is achievable. I think it blew their minds to hear that some of my work takes over 100 hours to execute."

Ken Done in Leeton

Reimagining the Murrumbidgee moves upstream to Wagga Wagga