On Founders’ Day, as we recognise our 120th year, Moreton Bay College will celebrate the ‘founding seed’ of the Visual and Performing Arts. Moreton Bay College currently holds a significant collection of art, which includes art installations, paintings, photographic work, and sculptures. The collection encompasses purchased works, donated works, and student works.

In the 1990s, the Festival on the Bay was a huge community-wide celebration of art, held at MBC, and annually one artwork from the festival was purchased from that event. Later in the early 2000s, the Primary School started to acquire an artwork each year from the College’s annual Art exhibition Greene-ware, named after one of the school’s founding sisters, Anne Greene. The Secondary School soon followed suit and now each year a piece from both the Primary School and Secondary School is selected by the leadership team to be added to the collection.

In 2006 the College hosted an Anne Greene Acquisition Exhibition, featuring the best works in the school’s collection and highlighting the importance of continuing to add to the collection. While the collection has developed organically in the past, in more recent times, the school has actively pursued the purchase of Anne Greene paintings. In 2012, four Anne Greene paintings were acquired and more recently, this year, we have been blessed to be able to purchase three additional Anne Greene artworks from Philip Bacon Galleries.

In 1901 the Greene sisters founded a school on Bay Terrace which prioritised an appreciation of, and engagement with, visual art as central to the holistic development and growth of the young women in their care. In 2021, the College recognises the significance of the land on which the school was founded and in so doing we have forged a relationship, and entered into an exciting project, with two local indigenous artists – Sonja and Leecee Carmichael - both Ngugi women belonging to the Quandamooka people.

Further information on Sonja and Leecee Carmichael can be found here

The creation of the Tarnanthi will be a collaborative project involving our students, parents, staff and friends of the College. The name (pronounced tar-nan-dee) comes from the language of the Kaurna people, the traditional owners of the Adelaide Plains. It means to come forth or appear – like the sun and the first emergence of light. Creating this together connects us all in a powerful story about Moreton Bay College.

This term, at workshops conducted by Leece and Sonja we will engage with contemporary Quandamooka weaving. Weaving is central to their connectedness to country and draws inspiration form the land and its stories. Participants will create a woven piece which will then become part of a larger body of work – the Tarnanthi. The latter is created from a cyanotype. Cyanotype is an analogue photographic printing process that produces images in a dark blue hue. The process was pioneered by British botanist and photographer Anna Atkins in 1842 to record her botanical specimens and was then used by engineers to create copies of technical drawings, later referred to as blueprints. The cyanotype process requires a mixture of two iron compounds, which is used to coat a heavy paper or fabric. Thus, our woven items, natural objects collected from around the College and artefacts which represent the life and history of the College will be placed on the cyanotype in low light and exposed to UV light. The paper or fabric is then washed in water to create a blueprint which will allow MBC to tell its story.

A video explaining this process can be found here.

The commissioned ‘Tarnanthi’ artwork, by Leecee and Sonya will be revealed during Founders’ Week and hung in the Music Centre foyer, where it will take pride of place. We are excited to acquire the work of Leecee and Sonya Carmichael at this seminal time in the school’s cultural history. We believe it honours the Greene sisters’ legacy, affirms our commitment to our MBC Reconciliation Action Plan and places female and First Nation voices at the heart of our developing art collection. The art of making and creating Tarnanthi together will privilege the importance of visual art in our College life and foster respect for the stories of this land on which our students learn and grow. 

This term Sonja and Leecee will be conducting workshops, where participants will engage with contemporary Quandamooka weaving.  Weaving is central to their connectedness to country and draws inspiration from the land and its stories. 
Participants at these workshops will create a woven piece which will become part of a larger body of work – the Tarnanthi.
Workshops will be held at the College.