Year 8 student Archer Harris spent a week in the holidays at school, painting a large mural on the wall of Music Room 2, after finding his passion during the struggles of the COVID lockdowns.
In a speech to the Secondary School assembly on Monday, Archer said he was humbled by the experience, encouraging students to push through the tough times.
“I would like to thank the school, my family and God because it wouldn't be possible without any of you guys but especially God, he was in my corner the whole time and I’m just so grateful that he opened this door for me," he said.
“I actually have dyslexia, so it makes it really difficult for me at school and I remember especially during lockdown I started getting behind at my work and I went through a bit of a depression state."
Archer told the assembly he prayed that God would show him a way forward and that his outlook had been transformed ever since he found the creative outlet, becoming obsessed with patterns, colours and art.
“I'm so happy that I found my passion and I hope that some of you in this audience will find yours too. Do something that truly makes you happy, that makes you excited to wake up in the morning.
"I am just so honoured by the fact that I could share my art with the students and the teachers of this beautiful school,” he said.
Archer’s music teacher Mrs George said that the idea came about when he designed an artwork for the back of an old guitar. Seeing both his talent and his passion, the music staff commissioned Archer to paint the mural in the music room.
“It’s incredible! It’s so amazing to see the finished result. Watching him spend the week bringing it to life, every time I came in there was a new thing he had done – it was really incredible and we love him,” she said.
“His whole heart was in it, he just thought it was a privilege and just kept saying thank you, thank you for the opportunity," Mrs George said.
The mural was inspired by the work of local artist Mulga and artist Ten Hundred from Seattle.
“I love the fact that he [Mulga] makes art for the community and that’s what I hope to do. And he makes art that’s colourful, bright, and joyful, and I think that’s really important,” Archer said.
Head of Secondary School, Mr Peter Richardson, said he was very thankful for the teachers who supported Archer and enabled him to succeed, and was delighted to see Archer thriving.
“I am very proud of the way Archer has used his gift to serve the school community," he said.
"It’s an incredible mural and a great story!”
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