2020 was an extreme year of challenges for our Archibull Prize participants as schools scrambled to modify the curriculum to online and remote learning during the pandemic. To incorporate the deep-dive of The Archibull Prize to this situation showed tenacity and commitment of a higher level and we applaud each and every school that completed their Archies.
The Archibull Prize operated under new model in 2020, one that encouraged partnerships with other schools and the community and asked schools to choose an agricultural issue close to their hearts. Several of our schools chose to compare natural fibres such as wool to synthetics in the world of fashion and to examine how Australian agriculture contributes to the world’s food security. Let’s meet some of our 2020 Archies.
Susie Sustain-a-bull is the name of the ‘puzzling’ Archie created by Queensland’s Kilcoy State High as they explored world food security.
“Food security is a puzzle, as the world produces enough food for all but there are still individuals and communities who are without sufficient food.”
The puzzle theme is on full display on Susie with jigsaw pieces representing both challenges and solutions to food security. The Year 10 agricultural students were shocked to learn 1 in 5 Australians go to bed hungry and wanted to use their artwork to engage people in discussions about this topic, particularly as it is generally unspoken in the media or amongst people who never go hungry. To this end, one of the prominent puzzle pieces is labelled “You”.
“This represents every person as it is considered everyone’s responsibility to do their bit to help all achieve, obtain and maintain food security; even if just in a small way. This piece hopefully gets people to think about what they can do to help solve the problem.”
Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School in western Sydney partnered with local feeder school Leonay Primary School to produce their Archie named Piece by Piece to Peace. The students from Stages 3, 4, 5 and 6 sought to understand why synthetic materials are the backbone of fast fashion, rather than organic alternatives.
They expressed their findings in finger painting on a split personality cow they turned into a front loading washing machine to highlight the damage microfibres from synthetics create in our oceans.
“One side shows the dirty world that we have created, always using, always consuming, always throwing away. The things we use are often poisonous to us and our earth, and no matter what we do, no matter how many times we manipulate the synthetic product into something new, it remains a synthetic monster that hurts nature. The other side expresses wonder, beauty and the calm wave towards rest and contentment. No synthetics. No darkness! ”
The standout blue wave on Piece by Piece to Peace is inspired by the artwork The Great Wave by Hokusai and was used by the students to illustrate the massive changes needed to create a more sustainable world of clothing and fashion.
Launceston Church Grammar School in Tasmania also looked at fast fashion, comparing a range of popular disposable clothing items to the biodegradable and long-lasting properties of wool. The result was their Archie named Woolba.
Year 9 geography students took a deep dive into the world of wool – visiting local farms, chatting to wool-brokers and engaging with our wool Young Farming Champions. The ugg-boot wearing Woolba has a 3D diorama along her spine showing off the process of wool production and an in-built screen, which displays the school’s digital learning from The Archibull Prize.
“Through our in-class investigation of the fashion and textiles industry, our scientific investigation of safety of fabrics, and our interactive learning with genuine and passionate members of the wool industry, it became overwhelmingly certain that wool is the best material for clothing, and that we need to foster a transition to slower fashion, where people choose fewer items made in fair conditions.”
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