Giant masks uncover artistic talent at Ipswich Festival

Each year as part of the Ipswich Festival, school children are invited to design and paint a giant 1.5m mask.
In 2018 the festival runs from 12 to 22 April and will deliver a celebration of local and national talent, Ipswich heritage and community spirit. This year marks the 17th annual Ipswich Art Awards which provides a platform to inspire, showcase and recognise local artists. Ipswich Festival highlights in 2018: • 12 April – Fire on the River fireworks • 13 April – Mayor’s Festival Ball featuring Mental As Anything • 14 April – Creative Kidz in d’Arcy Doyle Place • 14 April – Parade of Light with giant lanterns based on the theme from the Pages of a Storybook • 14 April – Street Party with Mental As Anything, a free concert for all the family • 15 April – Ipswich Gala Doll Fair • 20 April – Fiesta: food, flavour and fun under the evening sky in Queens Park • 21 April – Jazz, Wine and Blues: a celebration of wine, food and smooth jazz and blues with a feature performance by Joe Camilleri and the Black Sorrows • 21 April – Festival Gala Concert with the Ipswich City Orchestra

Unmasked, presented by Queensland Urban Utilities, will shine the spotlight on some of the region’s talented school students with colourful Mask creations.

The gardens of St Paul’s Anglican Church will become a gallery with a line-up of the masks for the duration of the festival from 12 – 21 April.

This year’s theme is Waterways and the fate of the Sea. The mixing of freshwater streams and rivers with salty ocean tides in an estuary fuels some of the most productive ecosystems on Earth, and some of the most vulnerable.

Staines Memorial College year 11 student Jacinta Cabassi was one of the students who participated in creating one of this year’s masks.

“We had a design competition at school. From those entries we combined those ideas to come up with our final design,” Jacinta said.

“We have been working all term and it was really enjoyable and it was quite a challenge thinking of a way to represent what we wanted to say on a mask. It’s quite different to painting on a square canvas.

“We wanted to show that in the future if we don’t change our ways, our waterways will become damaged.

“Our waterways are not as good as they used to be, so we designed our mask to show the near future and the far past.”

Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli says the Unmasked exhibition gets school children thinking about the importance of our waterways.

“Ipswich City Council supports water quality monitoring and provides an avenue by which community groups and school students can assess the water quality of their local creek or river in order to understand the effects of human activity on the health of the catchment area,” Cr Antoniolli said.

The schools taking part this year are: Bremer State High School, Churchill State School, Goodna State School, Ipswich Homeschoolers, Ipswich State High School, Ipswich Girls Grammar School, Ipswich Grammar School, Ipswich Central State School, Ipswich West Special School, Lowood State High School, Redbank Plain State High School, Rosewood State High, Springfield Central State High School, Staines Memorial College, St Mary’s College and WoodLinks State School.

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