Shape 2020 exhibition to showcase incredible talents of Greek Australian students

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Design subjects in school sometimes aren’t given the proper acknowledgement they deserve from within the school community, and the general Australian public.

Which is why when 2020 graduate Yianna Nikos found out her Textiles and Design project would be displayed at the Powerhouse Museum as part of a special exhibition, she was over the moon.

“It was extremely rewarding to find out my major work would be on display in the powerhouse museum,” Yianna said to The Greek Herald.

“Shape has been a dream of mine since I started High School and it feels surreal knowing that my work will be part of this year’s exhibition.”

Yianna placed first in her course at Presbyterian Ladies’ College Sydney in Croydon, designing a beautiful evening apparel gown with a strapless corset, straight skirt and traditionally smocked cape.

She drew inspiration from 1940s figure-hugging, asymmetrical silhouettes and luxurious fabrics.

“My mother and both my grandmothers all have a love for textiles, something which has been passed down to me,” Yianna added.

“My affinity for Textiles has driven me closer to them, and I constantly seek their advice. I am studying Fashion Design this year and it is my dream to make a career in this field.

“Textiles has always been a part of my daily routine, so I could not imagine myself having a life or career without it.”

De La Salle Catholic College Cronulla received an astounding 18 student nominations for the exhibition in February, including a nomination for Greek Australian student Julia Tsounis. De La Salle’s Design and Technology teacher Andrew Christoforidis said he was overwhelmed with the results achieved by his students.

“One of the things that’s amazing is they weren’t really affected by COVID-19,” Andrew said to The Greek Herald.  

“So we were sort of expecting a bit of a dip or results might be down on the previous year, but it wasn’t the case at all. The kids really rose to the occasion and they did really well.”

Andrew said that one of the shining moments of teaching Design and Technology was the diversity between projects. The final assessment of all design subjects allows students to showcase a project they are passionate about, bringing awareness to a particular style or societal issue.

“I like the creativity, I like that it’s unpredictable, and I also that it’s student centred learning.

“I don’t determine what they’re doing. They do it, the student themselves. We give suggestions but really, the ideas are coming from the students themselves. And basically I’m a facilitator.”

Andrew Christoforidis (right) with teachers at De La Salle Catholic College Cronulla. Photo: Supplied

Speaking about the Powerhouse Museum exhibition, Andrew said it’s a great opportunity for students to get their work out to the world. An exhibition not only for students however, it allows Australians to witness the remarkable talents of the early 2000s generation.

“It’s really an inspiration, and also recognition of all that hard work that is only confined to one school community, but when it’s shared across the state like that, it’s a real celebration of what students can achieve.  

“It also helps teachers. It broadens our perspective because you sort of get locked into a certain view or think a project should be something like this.

“And often you’ll go to shape and they’ll have something that’s completely out of the box, completely unexpected and it’s just a celebration of their educational achievement.

“They’re looking at the pinnacle of what these students can design.”

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