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Visual arts students pitch in to promote water sustainability


Zuleika Henderson
6 November 2008
The winners of a competition aimed at raising awareness of sustainable water use were announced yesterday at the Southern Cross University Next Gallery in Lismore.

The Wilsons River Catchment Plan: Reconnecting to Country Poster and T-Shirt Design competition, which was run jointly by Southern Cross University and Rous Water was won by Chrissie Huntsman (T shirt category) and Kate Stead (poster category) for their work highlighting local water related issues.

The winning entries, which were judged by local designer Dougal Binns, Rous Water education and catchment management staff Barbara Jensen and Anthony Acret, and local Widjabal representative Roy Gordon Junior will be used in Rous Water programs to promote understanding of water matters in the local catchment area.

Southern Cross University visual arts lecturer Leonie Lane said the event was of benefit to students and the community alike.

“It’s been a great opportunity for students of the Bachelor of Visual Arts program to practice skills like digital imaging in a real world project that has a community outcome,” said Ms Lane.

“It’s also a wonderful way of bringing industrial and Indigenous representatives into a University project. The feedback they have provided to students from their diverse perspectives is invaluable.”

The project aimed to engage and educate the community on local water issues and encourage people to consider the value of water and their role and responsibility in water conservation.

To inform their work, the students were invited to do an onsite investigation of a local water course, with many heading to Rocky Creek Dam to make observations and gather raw material to compile montages.

Chrissie Huntsman said her winning T-shirt design of a dripping tap with text describing water saving techniques was designed to appeal to a broad range of people.

“To me, the Reconnecting to Country theme meant that we all have a part to play in looking after the environment, so I used an image that every person could relate to with information that is easy for anyone to apply to their own situation,” said Ms Huntsman.

“It was great to work on a project that had such a direct and immediate relevance to the community.”

All entries will be available to view soon on the Rous Water website on

The local community is also invited to view the designs on display at the Southern Cross University Next Gallery (formerly the Alleyway Gallery) on Magellan Street in Lismore until close of business tomorrow, Friday November 7.

Photo: (L-R) Roy Gordon Junior, Barbara Jensen, Chrissie Huntsman, Leonie Lane and Kate Stead.