At the end of Term 2, we were contacted by Darron Davies, a local photographer and teacher, who invited us to participate in a writing project called Responding Lines, which is coinciding with the Bendigo Writer’s Festival. Darron came at the end of Term 2 and took both the junior and senior groups for a full day workshop on photography and writing. Students were then invited to respond creatively to one of Darron’s photographs, so that their writing could be put on display as part of his art display in Dunolly in August.

On August 8th, the students went along to Dunolly Court House to participate in the opening of the Responding Lines art exhibition. We were welcomed by Darron Davis and Marion Da Costa, who were running the event. Students had the opportunity to learn about the history of the Dunolly Court House, and its place in the community. It was a lot of fun holding a mock court session. We then participated in the opening of the event, and students were able to tour the courthouse and look at Darron’s photos and the accompanying student writing. Students were excited to see the beginning of their works accompanying the photographs to which they wrote to.

Amy bedside her inspiration

There were many comments made by others viewing the exhibition about the quality of the writing that students produced, and how their imagination captured different moods within a single photograph. This is a credit to the students who delved right into the project and shared their stories or poetry. In the afternoon, Darron held a workshop on how role play can ignite ideas, and in groups, students were able to come up with short performances based around a photograph from the gallery. Again, this is another credit to the students who in a small amount of time, conceptualised and acted out different stories, all of which seemed to have a theme of danger and mystery. It was fantastic to watch. We wanted to say thank you again to Darron for inviting us to be part of the project, the students had a lot of fun responding creatively to the photographs of local native sites.