12 October 2023

‘Learning to Fly’: a metaphor of our school’s learning eco-system

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‘Learning to Fly’: a metaphor of our school’s learning eco-system
‘Learning to Fly’: a metaphor of our school’s learning eco-system
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During the school holidays, we had the privilege of welcoming artist Alexander Knox to Carey to oversee the assembly of his commissioned sculpture, ‘Learning to Fly’, at our Kew campus. The sculpture was created especially for Carey to commemorate our centenary and is inspired by the symbolism of our school, the diversity of our community, and, most of all, the creativity and connectedness of our students.

Carey’s centenary sculpture is created by renowned Melbourne-based sculptor Alexander Knox, who has produced large-scale public artworks which are on display all around Melbourne and even internationally. You can read more about Alexander here.

In his description of the artwork, Knox explains how the work was informed by the student experience at Carey as well as the physical and social context of the sculpture:

‘The work consists of an energetic assemblage of curved yellow elements that recalls the School’s torchbearer emblem. This central totemic element is engaged by a cohort of small, brightly coloured wrens. These spritely birds evoke the student body. They present as a group, but their differing colours, body language and activities denote them as individuals with their own characteristics and motivations. The work speaks of the act and nature of learning and highlights the joy and wonder of the natural world.’

Learning to Fly

Some of our students share their insights into the meaning of Alexander Knox's 'Learning to Fly'.

Watch the video

This 12-month process and engagement with Alexander Knox and our public art consultant, Jane O’Neill, has highlighted how the inclusion of public sculptures in schools provides an opportunity for students to perceive, question and absorb the artwork as part of their everyday experience of the school. In turn, the artwork has the capacity to nurture students with the idea that the experience of art can become part of a well-balanced life through inspiration, creative thinking and personal expression. Carey’s comprehensive arts program, along with its commissioning of this public sculpture at our Kew campus, affirms the creative possibilities for students interested in pursuing career pathways in the art and design learning area.

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We are grateful for Alexander’s work and we are honoured to be able to proudly display his art at our Kew campus. We also appreciate our partnership with the Old Carey Grammarians Association (OCGA) to deliver this public art legacy. It is fitting to have the support of the OCGA for this sculpture, as it forms a bright and engaging intersection between past, present and future.

Carey’s centenary sculpture will be officially commemorated in a ceremony on Monday 13 November – details to follow.

Simon Carver
Leader of Learning – Art and Design

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