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Portraits of the Mind: The Cheshire School

This week, for Education Week, Victoria will be focusing on The Arts in schools, and how art can benefit the growth and development of children and young adults.


The Cheshire School utilises art within its program to provide the students with a way to express themselves. Exploring different materials, textures, colours and techniques, the children learn both about art and themselves, as they design their creations.

The Cheshire School students have been exploring different cultures in art class and now it is time to explore themselves. Ms Barrett is using their lesson time to help students prepare their own ‘Portraits of the Mind’ like the ones in a recent exhibition by Doma Dovgialo. The photographer took photos of a series of people, most suffering from hidden pain or under the taboo topic of a mental illness.

The photographer then asked them to use photographs as a canvas where they could depict their innermost feelings and thoughts. They were creating an expression of their inner self on an image of their outer self, which highlights the importance of understanding that we do not know what is going in someone else’s lives.

The students of The Cheshire School are working on similar projects, in order to help them gain a greater understanding of themselves. It will also allow them to convey things they may have difficulty verbalising to the people around them. Many of the students have already struggled through difficulties and experienced adversity.

Self-portraits allow the boys a safe place to put their thoughts and feelings onto paper. It will allow them to explore their past, their present and their future, to turn their feelings and experiences into a work of art.

Using the opportunity to combine education with exploration, The Cheshire School uses their art classes to inform the students, whilst offering them a creative outlet for their emotions. The Arts are vital to ensuring that students are provided with a well-rounded education. As each child is different, it is important to provide them with the opportunity to explore an array of subjects, encouraging all students to engage in a multifaceted pursuit of education.

To find out more about The Cheshire School, click HERE.