TRAGEDY and anguish have been a touchstone for the art world for centuries, but a more constructive message has kept south-west students busy.
The Western Region Drug and Alcohol Centre (WRAD) is hosting its first art in schools competition which has prompted a series of graphic entries depicting the effects of substance abuse on the mind.
Warrnambool College student Kirsty Tharle, winner of the senior section of the art competition, told The Standard the project was developed over only nine days.
The 16-year-old has long had creative flair but was keen to convey her capabilities with craft in the WRAD competition.
“It’s titled Drugs in the Mind and it features a mixture of things related to the subject,” Kirsty said.
“There’s old, out-of-date tablets, a medical syringe, an alcohol can, pictures of people crying — quite a mixture of elements to highlight the impact of drugs and alcohol on our society.”
Kirsty said presenting the various elements together was time-consuming although she was happy with the final product.
The art competition was run to coincide with National Drug Week.
WRAD clinician Trudy Marr said the competition was an opportunity to get a fresh look at issues surrounding addictive substances from the impressions of secondary school-aged students.
“Young people have a different perspective on how drugs and alcohol affect the mind and the competition has helped WRAD to get a better understanding of how they view the issue,” Mrs Marr said.
The competition has been sponsored by WRAD and the Department of Health Barwon South West Region.
It will culminate in a publication to highlight students’ perspectives of drug addiction.