St John’s College is incredibly proud of matriculant Matthew Wong (18) who was the overall winner at the Gauteng Schools Art and Design Awards exhibition hosted by the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
Students produced work around the theme, Out of Place for the 2018 exhibition. Matthew produced artwork depicting nature, which is out of place in the man-made technological world that we live in, playing on the fact that humankind still mimics nature.
His artwork plays on the fact that cell towers are disguised as trees. The signals given off from these towers, emit a hexagonal shape, similar to that of a beehive.
Interestingly, the signals also disturb the migration of bees.
The artwork consists of a box resembling a beehive, which includes drawers with hexagonal units similar to those of beehives, but instead of seeing honey when you open each drawer, you can see small cell towers.
Wong’s art teacher, Jaco van den Heever said, “I wasn’t at all surprised when Matthew won this award. He is incredibly hardworking and inquisitive. His art showcased a sound body of work devoid of any high school cliques and it was technically superb and neatly presented.”
Matthew said, “I was shocked when I heard that I had won. I didn’t expect it since I have never won anything before.” He received a R1 000 Herbert Evans Art Shop voucher.
Matthew would like to study mechanical engineering after school and believes that his skills learnt in conceptualising art will stand him in good stead for his university studies.
“We are not teaching students to become good artists here,” said van den Heever. “These classes are about imparting, stimulating and nurturing lateral thinking skills that can be taken into every sphere of life.”
Head of art at St John’s College, Belinda Donnelly echoed van den Heever’s sentiments adding her thanks to director of the faculty of art design and architecture at UJ, Eugene Hön who opened up this platform for students’ work to be showcased. “This competition teaches students important exhibition skills that go beyond the curriculum,” said Donnelly.
Other St John’s artists who were awarded at this competition included first merit award winner Michael Kurzewski and third merit award winners Aaron Pieterse, Adam Bougardt, Matthew Fletcher and Demarco Moodie.