In total, the three Cairns high schools submitted 29 works of art, some of which were collaborative projects between several students.
Mr Frank Brunetto, Principal of Smithfield State High School, says the exhibition was a unique experience for his students, who were proud to be involved. "Our Year 10 and 11 photography students were thrilled to be given the opportunity to be a part of this initiative," Mr Brunetto says. "Under the creative guidance of their teacher, Ms Tamara Turner, students accepted the challenge to think 'outside the box' for this project and develop innovative ways to rethink two-dimensional photography for a three-dimensional exhibit."
Smithfield State High School student, Aimee Forno, says, "We were so excited knowing that the public would see our work. Being part of the exhibition helped me to improve my skills really quickly. It also gave me the chance to do something different and creative. It was a challenge to present our photography in such a unique space."
The young artists included statements that explain their inspiration to accompany their artworks. St Monica’s College student, Naiya Duff, intended her artwork as a warning. “Overconsumption is a huge issue in today's society. Many marine animals, mainly fish, have overfished to the point of no return,” Naiya writes, and adds that “this is especially relevant in Far North Queensland, as we are neighbours to the Great Barrier Reef.”
Another work of art created by Ella and Alex from Smithfield State High School is accompanied by a statement saying that it was “inspired by climate change and the impacts on our wildlife. Birds are becoming extinct, and the birds don't have a say.
“Therefore, as humans we need to be a voice to advocate for these birds. This artwork delivers written speech of what we think the birds would say. Inside the cage is a climate change activist with the head of a bird trapped behind bars in a small cage,” Ella and Alex write.
"[Overconsumption] is especially relevant in Far North Queensland, as we are neighbours to the Great Barrier Reef."
St Monica's College Student Naiya Duff