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Eye Contact @ Kolbe

Verena Smallman (Head of Visual Art) & Sherie Chant (Head of Religious Education)

This term Kolbe Catholic College was fortunate enough to host a photographic exhibition that is shining the light on the face of homelessness in Perth. The photographer, Phil England, called his exhibition Eye Contact, explaining that eye contact is what we do when we want to make friends, want people to believe what we’re saying, or when we need to understand someone.  Eye contact is also what we seemingly don’t do to the ever-increasing number of homeless people that are populating our streets.

The exhibition aims to raise awareness around this issue and address the many stereotypes and misconceptions about the struggles that people face when they do not have a place to call home.  Religious Education and Visual Art learning areas have collaborated in presenting this project to students to encourage critical analysis and deeper thinking about social justice issues and to understand the power of the creative arts in reflecting the fragility of humanity.   Homeless people are just like us. They’ve had hopes and dreams, failures, successes, families, friends, opinions and something to offer. In short, they are all part of the big, sprawling and often untidy thing we call humanity.

“Something in the exhibition that stood out to me was the women’s concern for their children. They were more worried about their children’s safety and well-being than their own. They showed a lot of love and empathy for others even though they had so little.” – Charlise, Year 12

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