Primary school students across the Pilbara vote for Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe Artists

Posted: March 29, 2017 / News
Oliver Stretton-Pow, Infrastructure 5, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2017. Photo - Richard Watson2

Oliver Stretton-Pow, Infrastructure 5, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2017. Photo Richard Watson.

We were thrilled to receive the email below from the principle of Port Headland School of the Air, informing us how he shared and disseminated the Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe exhibition with his primary students and staff across the Pilbara. Through their internet /video conferencing school system the students learnt about the sculpture and then voted for their favourite.

The Artists involved have all been notified and will be delighted to know that their work was chosen.

“I am the principal of Port Hedland School of the Air. The other week, I was in Perth for a work conference at Cottesloe Beach. My students are spread across the vast expanse of the Pilbara, 560 000 square kilometres, in Western Australia. So, it was not possible to take them to the exhibition, but I wanted them to be involved and get to enjoy the experience anyway. Therefore, what I did was take photographs and use the available catalogue of the sculptures and brought them back to the students in situ. Over a series of four days, we looked at all the exhibits on our internet-based video conferencing communications system. The children learned about them, shared their ideas and promoted their most popular choices through to our ‘grand final’ which was today. Each child and staff member got to vote for their favourite piece. The children range in age from 4 – 12 years, or Kindergarten to Year 7.

The most popular sculpture was Oliver STETTON-POW (Infrastructure 5), followed closely behind in second place by Alessandra ROSSI (Untitled Coral (aqua)

Here is a snap-shot of what it all looked like today as I was closing down the system at the end of the session. The children’s video stream has been removed from the bottom to protect their identity, but it should give you an idea of how we did it. I would be very grateful if my student’s opinions could be considered by the Sculptures by the Sea team and conveyed to the artists in some way or other. Many thanks for your time”.


Michael Jennings

Port Hedland School of the Air 


Unfortunately the student’s final votes missed the deadline to be included in the exhibition’s final results. You will see that the student’s choices were reflected in the selections announced in the final ceremony ….

There are five Schools of the Air with over 220 students across the state. An exciting result of this correspondence with Michael Jennings (the Network Principle) is that we will pursue the possibility and funding to provide a ‘virtual tour’ which will include meeting an exhibiting artist and viewing their work at Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe 2018 for students in remote areas in WA – similar to what we have been offering in NSW during the Bondi exhibition for the past four years in partnership with the video conferencing group DART Connections (NSW Department of Education Distant Learning).

Watch this space!

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