Archibull Prize artwork judging reaches the summit Day 7

By day 7 the Archibull Prize artwork judging road trip was starting to feel like an Everest climb – the excitement was building but we were needed an oxygen surge and our last three schools certainly did themselves and the competition proud

Here is what artwork judge Wendy Taylor had to say

Macarthur Anglican High School

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It is safe to say that “Shorn-A” is different. She tips preconceived ways of presenting the Archibull cows on their side.

She is made from a collage of related images. They depict the breeding and farm side of the wool industry at her rear, shearing and the processes involved in the wool industry at her middle, and at her head the final products found in the industry.


Wrapping around this collage in an irregular pattern, is the black ‘story line’ for the wool industry.


Inside she has a simple diorama which shows different aspects of wool and its interaction with people –the breeder, the catwalk and everyday uses.


She is sitting (on a Macarthur wool bale) in her brightly coloured legwarmers and is cleverly knitting her own fleece.


A quote on her back (embedded in the colourful collage) reads “life’s too short to knit with cheap yarn”.


You can check out Shorn-A in the making through this clever time lapse video found here

Elizabeth Macarthur High School

On one side of “Carlotta”, the beef industry is represented through imagery of calving, management, meat cuts and a variety of products related to the industry.


Along her backbone is the Nepean River – the lifeblood of their local area and community. This then flows onto her other side, with the river system breaking onto its ‘veiny-looking’ tributaries.

Nepean River

This side of “Carlotta” also visually shows how different cultures come together to use beef and its history through the ages. It shows Egyptian imagery meeting mambo-like motifs.

It also shows some of the connections which the local community has with aboriginal iconography. Aboriginal rain, meeting place and river symbols are all present, as well as aboriginal hand prints and animal hoof prints.

Her head introduces the ideas of cell-grazing and tree regeneration.

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and it was great to see some Dairy Farmers milk as part of the morning tea. Thanks for the great hospitality Lizzie Mac


Shoalhaven High School

“Sweetie Meatie Pie” was named in honour of the school’s retiring Principal Mr Sweet. She represents the beef industry in the Shoalhaven area as well as the beef industry as a whole. She is being pulled into the future by Farmer Bill and his innovative techniques.

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Each of her legs are solidly grounded in depictions of soil and local Nowra sandstone (with fossils), as having healthy soil is one factor which supports the beef industry and in this case, the cow itself.

One of her sides shows the local area – the vibrant landscape, the strength of the local community, and the importance of the Shoalhaven River to both the local area and the beef industry.

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Her other side depicts the beef industry in Australia. Clearly shown are the differences between beef farming in the northern and southern areas of Australia – primarily focusing on the differences in vegetation, feed and water supply and the predominant breeds in each area.

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Her ‘sustainability head’ and tail are red as a visual point of difference from her vibrant sides.

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Along her backbone are the statistics for what it takes to feed and clothe the Shoalhaven area for a day.

Next Gen tell Agricultures story in words and insights

The Archibull Prize 2012 entries are now in and for the last two weeks art judge Wendy Taylor and I have been touring the state to allow Wendy to see the art works up close and personal and meet the teachers and students who have put their heart and souls into their Archies over the past 12 weeks. Yes aren’t they superstars they pulled this off in just 12 weeks.!!!!

We still have three schools’ artwork to feature and will do so shortly as soon as Wendy gets a chance to get some down time and reacquaint herself with her gorgeous family

In the meantime just to show the Archibull Prize is no fluffy art competition our superstar students have produced some outstanding blogs in their efforts to win the 2012 Archibull Prize. These are now loaded on the web and currently being judged by our expert judges

The brief was to create a Weekly Journal with a minimum of 1 journal entry per week and include

  • 5 mandatory blog posts
  • Digital photographs recording significant events
    • such as the arrival of Archie and visit by Young Farming
      Champion with supporting text.
    • Digital photographs and or video footage showing students working in teams, with supporting text.
    • A profile of the importance of the food or fibre industry your students are studying.
    • Digital photographs and or video footage portraying the development of the big ideas through the drafting stages of the final creation of the Archibull, with supporting text.
    • Funny photos including the Archibull ‘posing’ in an exotic location at the school.
    • A collection of small paragraphs to support photographs included in the Journal.

Have a look their work its outstanding. Write some comments on their blogs.  See if you can pick a winner. Not easy is it?. Judges we feel your pain

Abbotsleigh College beef


Camden Haven High School wool


De La Salle College Caringbah cotton

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Elizabeth Macarthur High School beef


Gunnedah High School cotton


Hills Adventist College wool


James Ruse Agriculture High School cotton


Macarthur Anglican School wool

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Model Farms High School cotton


Muirfield High School beef

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Shoalhaven High School beef


Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Berkeley Vale Campus Beef

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Winmalee High School cotton


Wyong High School cotton

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Caroline Chisholm College dairy

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Jamison High School dairy

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St Michael’s Catholic School NOTE PRIMARY SCHOOL beef

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Archibull Judge goes way up north for day 6

Today we went north to Gunnedah where the cotton plants are bigger than Ben Hur. I kid you not. Check this out!!!!!!

Xmas Tree

I took this snap on our detour visit to Carroll Cotton Company Gin – Isn’t this the prettiest Xmas tree you have ever seen. Not only the that the streets are lined with cotton

Road is Paved with cotton 

Gunnedah High School has been sponsored by the Upper Naomi Cotton Growers Association and the Carroll Cotton Company owned by Scott Davies. I was so excited to be in cotton country and invited myself to visit Scott’s cotton gin. He was very gracious and Wendy and I were like kids in a candy shop watching the cotton ginning process in action. More on that later 

  Gunnedah High School


Due to the strong aboriginal influences in both the school community and the wider local community, Gunnedah High School decided to call their Archibull entry “Milambraay”, which means cow in aboriginal. This influence is very apparent as you look at her. She has consistent aboriginal ‘journey’ and ‘meeting place’ symbols on both of her sides, as well as the indigenous symbols for rain, sun and the stars.


The ‘journey’ and ‘meeting place’ symbols on one side combine cleverly with the journey that cotton takes from growing and picking through to the final product.


Each ‘meeting place’ has cotton samples at a different stages of its production. These are connected through the journey by cotton spools and strung cotton highlighting the path.


The simplicity and colours found in aboriginal paintings are echoed in the styling and colours chosen to paint her.


“Milambraay” also shows the landscape through the progression of art history –aboriginal painting styles through to a ‘starry starry sky’ with Vincent van Gogh influences.


She has a hidden cave as well (complete with cave paintings of cows reminiscent of Lascaux)with a cotton farm landscape inside.



The judges go north in search of the winning Archie for 2012 Part 2 ….

There was a big welcome for the judges even before we walked in the front gate at Tuggerah Lakes High School Berkeley Vale Campus.

BV welcome the Archibull Prize judges

At Camden Haven High School Ag teacher Steve Shilling gave me a guided tour of the farm whilst Wendy judged the artwork


Christmas Ham?????

Berkeley Vale High School

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“Mooovie” is a very ‘worldly’ cow –just look at her sides!

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She has been out shopping (with her shopping list of sustainable requirements), and is now in the process of bringing the ‘paddock to your plate’ (in very literal terms). She is the raw ingredient in your shopping trolley, as well as the end product.

Her in-built movie channel is informative and follows the ‘paddock to plate’ idea beautifully.

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Her beautiful feet make you wonder whether she is a toy (rather large one?) or if she has been literally been picked up from her paddock (with paddock attached) and transplanted.

She is branded cleverly with a composite brand of the school’s crest and the brand of their Young Farming Champion Bronwyn.

Is this what an archi-BULL in a supermarket (rather than a china shop) would look like?


You can meet the great team behind Moovie here 

Camden Haven High School


“Eugene” represents the wool industry –in spots!

Each spot highlights different facets of the industry, capturing many of the aspects in which the wool industry impacts on our daily life.

Australia is also shown literally resting on her back, showing how Australia was historically built on the industry.


She has a patchwork of wool products to keep her legs warm, which were recycled and re-used from the school community.

It is her head and shoulders however, which set her apart. Her head has the identifiable horns of a ram. These then cleverly change into cornucopia, spilling their bounty down her sides. Cascading down one side is food for humans…..


, while the other side has food for sheep and the wool industry.


Camden Haven have done a great blog on the formation of their ideas for their Archie. You can read it here 

The judges go north in search of the winning Archie for 2012 Part 1….

After 48 hours of  R&R Wendy and I were back on the road in our quest to find the “whole package” prize winning Archie for 2012. First cab of the rank was Abbotsleigh College at Wahroonga then a trip up the Freeway to the Central Coast. Today saw us jump on an early morning flight to Port Macquarie to visit Camden Haven High   



“Abbeefa” showcases the whole of the beef industry. She looks at political and scientific factors in the industry, many innovations and new technologies as well as all stages of the supply chain.


She also touches on water management issues and the need in the industry for biodiversity.



She is definitely about the need for the beef industry to move toward being more sustainable –just look at her winged hooves to help her to do this!


“Abbeefa” was very much an integral part of the whole school community. She was primarily the work of the school’s “Environment Club” (which is made up of a group of students from all years, who are focussed on finding more sustainable lifestyle choices for both the school community and for the wider community as a whole).


The Environment Club collaborated and shared their findings and research work with the school community. They all contributed in one way or another.

Wyong High School


19 group shot team archi with horns

“Archie” is very distinctive. She highlights influences from the school community itself and also the wider local community.

She is very informative about a broad spectrum of issues relating to the Cotton industry in Australia –from integrated pest management to some of the new technologies available.


She looks at a range of cotton products themselves –through the elegant jeans motifs, her legwarmers and bandana and also through the handmade washing line with the tiny clothes on her back.



Tying all aspects of “Archie” together is a series of consistent aboriginal motifs – dotted and intricate on her head, hooves and tail and vibrant and flowing as the border patterning between areas.


One of the particularly clever details of “Archie”, is her cotton plant udder with the milking bucket (or in this case cotton bucket) below. A very nice detail!


Archibull Prize Day 3 Judging The quality is so inspiring

Cranebrook High School


“Ginny” is a cow you want to touch. She is vibrant and draws the viewer in.


Once close you realize she is amazingly tactile with a very interesting finish.

“Ginny” asks a lot of questions of the viewer and is a mass of contradictions. She is modern, industrial and abstract in style.


Yet has many old-fashioned and antique elements.

She shows old cotton industry practices in the images, but also new cotton industry products which are familiar to us all.


You expect these modern products to be soft and tactile and yet they are stiff and solid.


The historical images on her sides are subtle and quite monotone in palette and yet “Ginny” vibrates with colour and stands out across a room.


She tells an interesting story about the cotton industry but has almost no words on her sides.


Ag teacher Dani Saxon proudly commented that “making the undies spin was my thing!” Very interesting priorities Dani!


Ag teacher Dani Saxon and the team spent many hours searching in lots of odd spots for the many and varied items old and new that come together to make up “Ginny”

Jamison High School

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“Jules” was named after John Feltham Archibald, the founder of one of Australia’s oldest and best known art prizes. Loving all things European, he later changed his name to Jules Francais. Jamison High’s “Jules” gives a subtle nod to the Archibald Prize, which through a play on words became our name!

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“Jules” is made up of a collection of jigsaw puzzle pieces imitating the traditional patterning seen on a dairy cow.

Some of these puzzle pieces have words associated with them relating to the dairy industry and to the needs of the industry as it heads into the future.


Her head and eyes are beautifully painted in a realistic style, while her ears have quirky puzzle patterning.

Caroline Chisholm

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“Athena”, named after the school’s female Holstein cow, says everything you could want to say about the dairy industry in Australia. With her puzzle base and upright stand, she takes the form of a trophy – a trophy proclaiming Dairy as the Winner!

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The puzzle base, which depicts a stereotypical dairy farm image, opens up to reveal a series of milk myths, which are then busted by dairy industry facts.

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Her sides talk about the impact of the carbon tax on the dairy industry, the staggering quantities of cows needed to provide the required amounts of milk, the processes and the biosecurity risks to the industry itself.

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Scattered all over are also a series of QR Codes, which then link the viewer to a wealth of further information. Definitely the complete dairy picture!

There was some morning tea to tempt us


and a quick visit to the textiles room to check out some more talented teens

Winmalee High School


“Singer” shows the yin and the yang of the cotton industry. She challenges preconceived ideas and is very clever.

One side is black. It represents the manufacturing side of the industry. It is a simple, elegant and beautiful depiction of an old-fashioned Singer sewing machine. It is intricately detailed in gold and translates surprisingly well to the side of a cow –who would have guessed this was possible!


To further the concept of the sewing machine, she has been threaded from head to tail with thread, just as a sewing machine would be. Except that in this case, the thread is not thread at all. It has been made from the sustainable re-use of discarded aluminium cans. (Perhaps this would be a little prickly and sharp to wear??)

Cotton Cans

The other side of “Singer”, is white.


This is the consumer and highly processed side and appears to scan you as you walk by. It is as though you have been bought, scanned and paid for at a shop- the barcode in her side lights up and she beeps when you come close! Great effect!

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This side also has intricate detailing in the clouds of tiny red ladybirds hovering in areas. They are good for cotton plants as they eat the destructive aphids which are so damaging to the plants. In effect, “Singer” has her own integrated pest management system!

This finishes Day 3 of our Archibull judging! It is definitely time for the weekend and some much needed rest!! We will be ready and raring to go again by Monday morning, I’m sure!

Archibull Prize Judging Day 2…. and more still!

Hills Adventist College

“Missy Moo” has the weight of the wool industry resting on her shoulders. In fact, it is literally built on this poor cow/sheep’s back.

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The old fashioned stencilling on the bale reinforces this idea even further. “Agriculture Australia” is literally riding on poor Missy Moo.

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The bale shows some of the history, the processes and the products associated with the wool industry in Australia in soft, subtle sepia tones.

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Her body itself, while recognisably bovine, has wonderfully tactile fleece patterning, which, while initially distorted, soon morphs cleverly into distinct,  woolly little Australia maps.

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Hills Adventist College love their Aussie Farmer. Check out their video to see how much

Archibull Prize Judging …a bit more

Model Farms High School

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“Lady Moo Moo” is a character! (This is not surprising really when you consider her namesake Lady Ga Ga).


She is dressed from head to hoof in denim and cotton, inlaid with intricate and subtle detailing.

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She is not a cow you are likely to forget easily –not too many cows have horns quite like hers!

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Her udder and hooves have been carefully and very painstakingly wrapped with precision.

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and her messages have been, quite literally, sewn into the fabric of her skin.


Did you know that Model Farms High School found they had a 100% denim ownership at the school? Every person owned something made from denim –whether it was jeans or some other item.

Archibull Prize Judging Day 2

And we were off and racing into Day 2…

James Ruse Agricultural High School

“Bessie” is a cow of 2 sides- both very individual and very distinctive.

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On one side she explores the cotton industry through their reliance on water and Australia’s desperate need for this to be done responsibly and sustainably.

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On her other side she is tactile and has an x-ray effect. The digestive system is mechanical and references the machinery and the science necessary to maintain this industry.

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Bessie’s two sides are bound together by the cotton plant on her spine. It is wrapped in wire (showing the strength and viability of the cotton plant and the industry itself) and the roots spread out like a cobweb, linking all the parts of the cotton story.


Their video “How to be a Smart Cotton Farmer”  is definitely well worth the watch too!

Even more from day 1

Muirfield High School

‘”T bone” was very definitely a member of the beef industry (and had a name…yay!)

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A detailed story is told as you move around the cow –from grazing, to processing

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and then to the end products

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and meat on the barbie (literally!)

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Her head has a conversation with farmers through Twitter

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and AgChatoz

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while her high-tech collar (with its own satellite) speaks of cutting edge farming practices and the future.