Art exhibition to strengthen students’ identity

AFL Cape York House students will delve into self-portraiture with an art exhibition this Saturday, 11 November.

The exhibition, a free event held at the Hilton Cairns, is centred around the students capturing a point in time that examines where they are in their learner identity journey.

Me. The Exhibition is a platform for the young people of AFL Cape York House to explore the depths of self-perception and strengthen their learner identity through photographic self-portraiture. This initiative goes beyond artistic expression; it is a journey of self-discovery and self-affirmation.

All the photographs have one common element: students must have a piece of their school uniform on or with them, which serves as the linking thread to the exhibition. The students have then selected artefacts, possessions, and locations that speak to who they are as individuals.

As the students engage in creating self-portraits, they delve into the intricate layers of their own identities, personal growth, and their roles as learners. The process encourages them to reflect on their unique experiences and narratives, providing a deeper insight into their journey of self-growth as a learner.

AFL Cape York House teacher Amanda Black said the students’ choices of location and objects included contribute to the messages they are conveying through their photographs.

“Every single young person at AFL Cape York House is participating, so the exhibition will have 80-90 photographs,” she said.

“The learner identity is unique to each individual student.

“Some of the portraits are solo shots and some are of groups – there is one group of boys who have taken their photo at Wangetti Beach, to represent how they see country as their classroom.

“These young people have had to leave home to attend secondary school and through their photos they are showing how they are so strong, so proud of where they come from.

“It is our responsibility to celebrate the strength of the young people.

“For some of them their worlds have opened up through the opportunities they have had access to.”

Through self-portraiture, the students not only cultivate their artistic skills but also strengthen their self-awareness and self-esteem. They discover that learning is a dynamic, evolving process that is as unique as their own portraits.

This exploration of self through art serves as a powerful tool for reinforcing their learner identity, reminding them that their journey of growth and education is a work of art in progress.

Me. The Exhibition will open at 10am on Saturday 11 November with an Acknowledgement of Country and will close at 4pm.