White eyed

Unlike many indigenous populations around the world, people of European descent rarely experience racism or isolation within their communities, and have little idea of what it feels like to be marginalised.

Students from Southern Cross University are exploring this life of privilege in the annual Student Art Prize, which opens today (Thursday, August 17) at the Next Art Gallery at SCUs Lismore campus.

Students have worked with the theme What does white look like and the results are both poignant and thought-provoking. This is not only because of the ideas examined, but also the clever use of media.

Students have provided us with a broad and diverse investigation of the many angles that this often difficult question can lead to, said gallery director Shelagh Morgan. They are critically interrogating whiteness in terms of racism, which is something that affects members of this community on a daily basis. There are a number of works this year that poetically step into a zone that most people would think twice before entering.

The 2006 Student Art Prize is being judged by John Walsh, director of the Gold Coast Art Gallery, and the winner will be announced today. In previous years, the union at SCU always provided the prize money, however, Shelagh said since the introduction of Voluntary Student Unionism, they have been forced to find different avenues of sponsorship.

The Student Art Prize will remain on show at the Next Art Gallery until August 31.

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