Irving gallery created in honour of teacher

The Parent Committee for the Lawley Art Auction is delighted to announce that this year, for the first time, a special Gallery will display artworks which are available at set prices.

“Dr Dale” (front) has been an inspiration to performing arts students for many years.

The Irving Gallery will sell artworks in conjunction with the live auction on June 10 and is open for viewing from 5pm. A sneak preview is available on our website now!

The Gallery has been named after Dr Dale Irving, a true visionary and an outstanding Drama and Arts educator at Mount Lawley Senior High School for over 24 years.

During the creation of the MLSHS middle school, Dale brought together a Cross-Arts teaching method, seeking to bridge the gaps between the traditionally segregated arts disciplines of Art, Drama, Music, Dance and Media. The Specialist Visual and Performing Arts (SVAPA) Program commenced in 2000.

Through her co-ordination of the program Dale developed an engagement with external industry professionals. She built an excellent reputation for the arts within the school and in the broader community, including links with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, WAAPA and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, PICA.

Dr Dale Irving’s combined work ethic and profound love of the rebellious nature of art has built a program that has endured and prospered. The current Arts students, staff and parents at MLSHS commend her for these outstanding years of service.

The SVAPA program now continues under the guidance of Dale’s colleague, Moya Thomas:

When I was a student, walking into Dale’s classroom was like an oasis, a paradise. 

I remember one class we entered, the room was dark and her voice calmly boomed from out of nowhere. “Find a space, lay down”.

I will never forget that we spent an entire lesson, lying there, visualising, being still, taking in time, space, moments, breath. I knew this sense of stillness to be important but a teacher taking that time to reinforce it in a high school setting was, for me, revolutionary.

Other times we spent lessons doing authentic movement, free flow writing, playing, and sharing, without judgement…without hang-ups, a place for our own pace…a place to fail and learn. Dale made us feel rebellious, confrontational, experimental, truth-seekers, to trust each other and ourselves. You could say she made us in her image.

Moya Thomas, Graduated Student 2000, Drama Colleague and SVAPA Coordinator.

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