Art captures College’s culture

November 1, 2019

Robert Lee Davis’ completed artwork, entitled: The Legacy.


Earlier this year, when the College sought to reinvent how it would manage the annual Flanagan Art Prize in 2019, it could not have envisaged the incredibly successful outcome which would emerge.

After a decade of running the prize as an annual art exhibition, the College decided to instead look at arranging an artist-in-residence competition this year.

Entries were received from around Australia and an interview process was conducted with several finalists before Melbourne-based and American-born artist Robert Lee Davis was selected as the winner.

Robert Lee Davis

Robert won a $5000 prize and, in return, was required to spend up to four weeks living and working on site, while producing an artwork for the College to acquire.

Head of the Arts Faculty Mr Jared Lynn said Robert’s ability to immerse himself into the life of the College during his tenure in the second half of term 3 was exceptional.

“Robert was fantastic, both in working with our students in their art classes and also in learning the history of St Patrick’s,” Mr Lynn said.

“All the while he was producing his amazing artwork – a collage of found items, compiled in such a way to tell the story of St Patrick’s College as it is today.”

The finished artwork was formally unveiled at the College’s VCE Arts and Technology Showcase on Wednesday, October 9 and now holds pride of place in a glass cabinet in the College’s front reception.

It is accompanied by an artist’s description, pinpointing the meaning behind every minute scrap of paper which comprises the stunning collage.

Deputy Headmaster – Teaching and Learning Mr Stephen Hill said the stunning success of the inaugural artist-in-residence program ensured it will return in 2020.

“Our students have certainly benefitted from this year’s Flanagan Prize by having the opportunity to engage with and learn from someone who has travelled the world as a professional artist,” MR Hill said.

“The work Robert has created will endure as an incredible legacy of his time here and of his unique way of telling a story about place.

“It will be enjoyed by generations of Old Collegians, staff and students.

“We can’t wait to see what exciting journey will come next year when we launch the 2020 Artist in Residence program.”