Digby and the kids of Coraki

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Fifty two students from Coraki Primary School will remember for a long time the pleasure they felt working with a professional artist and will have their canvases as proof it really happened.

On Monday and Tuesday this week Digby Moran, a leading Bungjalung artist and The Coraki Art Prize delivered two successful painting workshops, thanks to grant from RICHMOND VALLEY COUNCIL, at Coraki Primary School. Successful because 100% of students produced a painting on cardboard and one on canvas, quite a feat for students some as young as seven to be working with acrylics on canvas and doing dot painting. Successful because at the end of the 3 hour session, the students, the class teachers, Digby and George, Ana and Melva from the Art Prize, didn’t want it to end. Many of the students asked, “Are you coming tomorrow?”

Tuesday’s class teacher, Kylie Organ, explained that one of the classes was unable to join in because of the restriction on numbers and were very jealous so she was going to take our lesson and replicate it for them. This is another measure of success that this lesson can be reproduced in the school for some time to come. Of course it will never be the same without Digby, and his awe inspiring paintings to use as jumping stones to create your own work. Digby also told the students to follow their dreams and it is possible to achieve anything if you work at it. He said as a teenager rowing a boat across the river to catch the school bus to Ballina High he never imagined that one day in the future he would have paintings hanging in fairy tale castles in Germany and visit the city of Hamelin.

From this week’s workshops I am sure at least one or two students have made a first step to saying “YES I CAN!”

Just to finish off, I must say that the standard of behavior, politeness and ability to work at a set task and of course creativity at Coraki Primary is of world standard. Yes, that impressive! We would all go back tomorrow and work with them if we could.

Melva Thompson


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