Students from the Woodside Primary School amid their SALA exhibition at the Olive Branch Café, Balhannah.

We All Smile in the Same Language

By Kendrea Rhodes

Humankind has valued art for thousands of years. It’s a communicator’s dream with longevity beyond its creator, the ability to cross language barriers and countless uses like storytelling, warnings, musings and guidance. Art is a universal language.

Students from Woodside Primary School are using art to explore their studies of diversity. These studies have included rich and varied discussions on religion, indigenous awareness, family history, culture and appearance. What they’ve learnt during their art practice has flowed into other subjects, creating intellectual synergy school-wide.

Art teacher, Anne Griffiths said, ‘Our students have explored faces from around the world … and have been able to link their art experience to [other areas of study. This has helped them understand] the diverse cultures that make up Australian society.’

‘We All Smile in the Same Language’ is the School’s latest exhibition, celebrating tolerance and diversity. The Olive Branch Café in Balhannah is awash with colour as it hosts this exhibition for the South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA).

The focus of the student’s art is portraiture where they’ve learnt to mix a variety of colours, skin tones and mediums. This immersive practice has fostered discussions of similarities and differences — it’s an engaging way to approach complex issues and far less confronting (or tedious) than straight statistics and text.  

Anne said, ‘Through the arts we hope to promote tolerance and acceptance of others to create a more peaceful world for all of our children.’

Father’s Day is the last day of the exhibition, so drop in or call the Olive Branch to make a table booking: Olive Branch Café, 8398 0009, Balhannah Junction Shopping Centre (84 Onkaparinga Valley Road), open 8:30am until 8pm.