Last night Wesley proudly opened The Arts Hub, a dedicated Arts space in the heart of the Middle School. Here, we publish the speech given to our generous donors by Director of Arts, Mr Stephen Roberts.
Welcome to The Arts Hive – a space that we define as: a place swarming with activity.
For those that may not have seen the previously-named M8 – this was a classroom that was, I think it’s fair to say… unremarkable.
What a difference three terms make.
Today, I am proud to thank all of you for this work of art on behalf of the entire Arts staff.
In fact, this is literally a work of art. The very artists who will work alongside our students have indeed contributed in some way (structurally or philosophically) to the space.
An example of this is the furniture that has been designed by Christian Geyer. His work in the space is a wonderful example of the philosophy of The Arts Hive – which is to challenge beyond the boundaries of what already exists.
The furniture is Christian’s response to that idea. It’s unpredictable in that it has no pre-determined way of arranging its form. Students will approach the space and design it for their purpose.
This furniture is unique, robust, agile, functional, thought-provoking, collaborative and – of course – artistic.
The space appears unfinished, a work in progress. This is an intentional part of the aesthetic design and not the result of us not hitting our deadline for completion! The space is an embodiment of what we identify as being the most crucial part of any work of art… process. It will never look finished.
Again, this is intentional, as we champion our students to embrace process and not fear exhibiting work in progress.
This space is all about the journey and not the destination. In here, failure is an accepted part of success and we want our students to be able to articulate that and experience it as part of what makes their work so great.
In order to strengthen our students’ opportunities and provide them an authentic insight into creative practice, we will invite current, emerging and established artists to work in The Arts Hive as they themselves develop their own practice and art in an environment that will allow both our students and our artists-in-residence to work side by side.
The Arts Hive will, therefore, not force collaboration but rather allow relationships to grow organically. We will encourage opportunities to share practice and create a conduit for the present and the future. Our friends in the industry and in further education have already expressed an appetite to work in this environment with our students, via experiences that will prove beneficial to all.
This evening, we have been entertained by our own Wesley jazz ensemble, The Messengers, working side by side with Dr. Daniel Susnjar. We are lucky to have Daniel here in his capacity as a world-renowned artist, and how amazing is it for both, he (the artist) and The Messengers (the developing artists) to be sitting, playing, improvising and learning through doing, together, in an environment that is safe and creative.
The ‘performance’ is not something that was rehearsed for us (the audience), but rather, something that has occurred organically in front of us, with no threat of failure, because the art is in the process and in this example the process is the performance.
This is a wonderful example of the kind of experimental, niche and unique opportunities that will become the norm in this space.
It is so exciting to think of artists and students, staff and community, interacting in a space that is designed to bring people together in an artistic environment that not only nurtures curiosity and challenges perception but champions freedom of creative expression, celebrates diversity, provides rigour and promotes art for art’s sake as well as excellence, failure and everything in-between.
Exciting times, that have, and will continue to have been made possible by you. Thank you.
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