In a class of their own

UNCERTAINTY once surrounding the future of the Gippsland Centre for Art and Design has gone quiet.

Lecturer, coordinator and renowned glass artist Tony Hanning is proudly showing off a dynamic array of completed works of 12 graduating Bachelor of Visual and Media Art students at the school’s Switchback Gallery – four who intend to do honours next year.

It’s an encouraging trend after three graduating students in 2014.

“At the start of this year there was uncertainty about what was going to happen to the Gippsland Centre for Art and Design, but this is absolute proof we can produce first class students,” Dr Hanning said.

With the renowned radical art institution adjusted from Monash University to Federation University, Dr Hanning – one of the school’s first students in 1972 – was brought in to oversee the transition as coordinator and lecturer.

This included the continuation of the Bachelor of Visual Arts, Master of Visual Arts, and the introduction of the Bachelor of Communication and Design at the Gippsland campus.

The ‘Plural’ exhibition is the culmination of three years of the Bachelor of Visual and Media Art Students.

From a skeleton encrusted with 40,000 tacks and still life inspired table of fruit, wine and table settings covered in faux chicken skin, to oil paintings of dystopian landscapes, Dr Hanning said the exhibition showcased an exploration of visual arts without a school of thought.

“I think the show is an indication that this work is of a national standard and that this is a viable and leading art school,” Dr Hanning said.

He said he told students it was “okay” to make things with all kinds of mediums available.

“These students have not been indoctrinated with any concept of what art should be,” Dr Hanning said.

“All art can be proven to be good art.”

The exhibition is open until 25 February 2016.