It has been joyous to have all the girls back on site at Lowther Hall this week and to hear the laughter and energy that they bring to the space. Whether it was waving to the Senior School girls as they passed my window between classes, seeing the Raymond House students greet each other excitedly on arrival or hearing the voices of the Blinkbonnie girls sing the school song from behind their masks at assembly, there have been multiple occasions this week when I have felt truly blessed to be sharing the space with the girls again.

Today a highlight across the whole school was the launch of the 2021 virtual Art and Design Exhibition, “Emerge”. The title seems especially apt as the timing of the exhibition coincides with Victoria’s emergence from lockdown and the associated emergence from remote learning for the girls and staff. The act of making art is one of emerging – that is, making something visible as it moves from concept to realised piece of work in pencil, paint, clay or other medium. For the viewer, too, works of art can prompt cognitive and emotional responses to emerge; responses that help us to better understand the world, each other and ourselves or which provoke us to think about things from a new perspective. The body of work in this year’s exhibition, which spans Kindergarten to Year 12, is truly wonderful, perhaps all the more so because so much of it had to be produced at home and with remote instruction! I congratulate all of our student artists and their teachers for all they have been able to produce. I also want to acknowledge the staff who have brought this virtual experience to life: not just the Art staff, who have worked inspiringly with the girls this year under trying conditions, but also our IT staff, our Director of Marketing and Communications, Ms Lauren McKendry and, most of all, Ms Alicia Jenkins, our School Events and Operations Coordinator, who has built the site and carefully curated all of the work onto it. I do hope that you will take the time to explore the exhibition in the coming days. I know you will find it uplifting and astounding! 

Ms Elisabeth Rhodes