As part of the Art Project to commemorate the 120 Year anniversary of Moreton Bay College (MBC), the college commissioned renowned indigenous artists Sonja and Leecee Carmichael, both Ngugi women belonging to the Quandamooka people, to collaboratively produce a commemorative bespoke cyanotype: Girl on Country – Jundal Djara.

The cyanotype was unveiled by the MBC Art Captains, Amalia Levick and Bella Callegari, on 26 July at An Evening of Art, during MBC Founders Week. John Stafford, from One Space Gallery, who worked with the College and the artists, was also in attendance. 

“We are honoured to work with Sonja and Leecee, two exceptional and inspiring artists who have so graciously shared with us the incredible art of Quandamooka weaving and have created with us this magnificent cyanotype to commemorate our 120th year,” said Mrs Janet Stewart, Principal, Moreton Bay CollegeIt’s a very exciting time to be involved in contemporary indigenous art as it reflects our commitment toward strengthening the relationship with the local Aboriginal Community and the ongoing process of Reconciliation in Australia.” 

The cyanotype composition embodies the narrative of connection to people, place and objects. Panel one encompasses the idea of place as nature – land, sea and sky, using natural objects collected from around the College and woven items created by students, parents and staff during weaving workshops held at the College by Sonja and Leecee. Panel two represents place, people and objects, and includes significant archival objects from the College and two students, who are actually the Art captains. 

“I think it is about documenting our weaving stories in new ways,” said Sonja Carmichael, “We were looking at ways we could bring our weaving alive on a large scale. By bringing images of our weaving into cyanotypes and using the very elements required for the growth of our natural weaving fibres on country – water, sun and salt – we are able to extend our practice.” 

The cyanotype creation workshop, supported by Renata Buziak, was held during NAIDOC week. The workshops were attended by current students, their mothers, aunts, grandmothers, females of significance to the students, and Old Girls of the College, affirming that the history of MBC is her story. 

The exceptional paintings of artist Anne Alison Greene, who was one of the founders of Moreton Bay College, were showcased at An Evening of Art. In 1901 the Greene sisters founded MBC, 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. The College continues to recognise the importance of art in a 21st century curriculum and holds a significant collection of art, which includes paintings, photographic work, and sculptures. The collection encompasses purchased works, donated works, and student works.