The Archibull Prize connects school students with the people and the places behind the food we eat and the natural fibres we use. Since its inception over 300,000 students have been engaged in courageous conversations about how farmers and the community can work together to create a world with zero hunger and zero waste.
Australia’s dairy and egg industries have been reinterpreted during The Archibull Prize this year so let’s meet the Archies for our milk and eggs.
Each year the world looks forward to the creative talents of the entire Beaudesert State High School as they bring quirky and imaginative angles to their Archie. Their 2019 entry is no exception incorporating real bovine bones, braille, a cut-out Herringbone dairy and a robotic milking arm.
“We did not want our cow to look like a cow but more a piece of art. When the dairy guys came out to see us at the start and we shared our ideas Paul made a comment that he wanted the real world to understand that dairy farmers were not just ‘hicks’ but that there was real science to farming and that dairy farmers did more than just milk cows.”
Beyond the science Beaudesert students also looked at the reasons behind the decline of the Australian dairy industry.
“If our cow can make an impact and a few people understand then, perhaps, that can turn into many and farmers can get more help and assistance through these tough times. Milk needs to be treated like the ‘white gold’ that it is and not something that is considered just a ‘staple’ and in everyone’s fridge.”
Also taking a close look at the Australian dairy industry was East Loddon College in rural Victoria with their Archie named Tandarra to Toorak. Art students from Years 9, 10 and 12 explored the ways milk production supports both rural and urban communities and on their classic black and white cow they painted a road from the country dairy to the city fridge.
“We have built the city skyline on top of the cow in a ‘cartoonish’ manner to convey how we, in the country, are quite removed from the city life and we don’t know much about it. We can only imagine that it is the same for people living in the city that they don’t know about the dairy industry, but because it is so important to us and such a big part of our lives we want to teach them and help them learn about it.”
Students of East Loddon are proud and appreciative of living in a rural community with a close association to dairy farmers. They used ear tags and milking cups on their Archie, which were donated by a local farmer, and were thankful for the time farmers made to speak with them. Farmer Michael Lawry also appreciated the interest shown by the students:
“I believe that it takes the shared and reinforced values of a community to successfully raise a child and I believe that we live in such a community.”
The ever-enthusiastic YFC Jasmine Whitten guided two schools through the world of egg production and did you know Australia Never Delivers Rotten Eggs? That was the anagram for ANDRE Kluckin, the Archie entry from Picnic Point High School.
“We have created a giant egg carton that symbolically represents all eggs produced in Australia and sold in shops. It explores the three main methods of producing eggs; free range, caged and barn. Each method has many pros and cons, which creates an ongoing debate for consumers.”
When discussing their creative designs for Andre the students relied heavily on input from their YFC.
“Jasmine made us think about the marketing strategies of egg cartons. The free range egg cartons usually have more bright and detailed logos and reflect open spaces and create an eye catching logo for the consumer. Caged eggs usually have plain labels with limited colour. Our logo and carton art is bright and fun to entice the consumer to buy our product. We have shown that all eggs, regardless of the farming technique, are carefully packaged and freshly available for people to buy and enjoy.”
Also exploring the world of eggs and poultry were the Year 8 Humanities students from Granville Boys High School who created Basketbull.
“While our Archibull is now a basket of eggs, the poultry industry certainly does not put its eggs in one basket. Rather, it incorporates biosecurity, food security, farm animal welfare, considered breeding practices for various types of poultry, the egg industry, the impact of climate change and environmental issues into a sustainable poultry industry practice that can feed, clothe, and power a hungry nation.”
Using still-life and impressionist painting influences, mathematical artistic patterns and even chicken wire, each egg on Basketbull represents a different sector of the industry, and the Archie as a whole reflects the famous painting Panier D’Oeufs by Henri-Horace Roland Delaporte.
“Panier D’Oeufs translates in English to ‘basket of eggs’. Delaporte painted his masterpiece in 1788 which was also a significant year for the Australian poultry industry because it was the year that the first poultry arrived in Australia with the First Fleet. These new arrivals included 18 turkeys, 29 geese, 35 ducks, 122 fowls and 87 chickens.”
Mega shoutout to our supporting partners as you can see all the schools and students involved in 2019 Archibull Prize experience found it an invaluable learning tool on so many levels