Bombala students honour St Mary MacKillop with new artwork
St Joseph’s Primary School, Bombala, has long links with St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, and now it has beautiful student-made artwork to honour her.
With the guidance and assistance of local artist Tanja Ponsford, the student body designed and created a large felted artwork in honour of Australia’s first saint.
Mary MacKillop visited Bombala in the late 1800s. The school was started in 1888 by the Sisters of St. Joseph and is still, through its commitments to social justice, educational excellence and equity, very dedicated to the work and values of St Mary of the Cross and her Order.
During the artmaking process, students explored what they knew about Saint Mary MacKillop and how she impacted their life and faith.
Molly McGuiness and Sarah Campbell, two Year 6 students, were heavily involved in making the large felted artwork.
“When I think of Mary MacKillop”, Molly said, “I think of a kind, loving woman who helped all and believed in providing education to all children. Helping with the artwork was really enjoyable and it was good to learn how to felt as there were many steps to follow. I can’t wait to see it hung in our new library when renovations finish.”
“When I think of Mary MacKillop, I think of a passionate and courageous woman who helped others no matter what,” said Sarah.
“The teachers at our school and Mary MacKillop have a lot in common — always trying to help us with our education and learning.”
When reflecting on the process and the finished product Sarah said it was a great experience learning new things from Tanja, such as felting and exploring faith through art.
“It was also pretty special because the entire school from Kindy to Year 6 were able to be part of making it,” she said.
Artist Tanja Ponsford felt ‘honoured’ to lead the creation and learn further about Australia’s first Saint.
Tanja said all the children who participated were enthusiastic and brought inspiration and ideas to the work from their own lives. For example, one idea came from a student who brought in his wool from his farm, and another student’s farm was inspiration for the Long Horn and Highland cows in the picture.
And the finished product is something to treasure!