‘Top’ students in Visual and Performing Arts

Each year the finest pieces of work created by VCE students in the Visual and Performing Arts are showcased in a series of exhibitions and concerts, collectively known as the VCE Season of Excellence. This year, three Melbourne Grammar students will be involved in these prestigious events.


Blake McCord

2018 Will Ballantyne Scholar, Blake McCord (OM 2018), will exhibit his diverse range of artwork in Top Arts 2019.

My Presence series represents an anonymous figure which doesn’t have an obligation to make sense to you – it is morally ambiguous. The initial idea came from trying to replicate a figure emerging from a pool of crude oil which was completely drenched in it. You could put as many of your own ideas onto it but, because of the oil, nothing would stick. It is everything and nothing in the same space.

My Year 11 Studio Art teacher, Helen Kennedy, was committed to having all students explore a wide variety of artforms. I discovered a new interest and subsequently had an unexpected realisation that I wanted to become an artist and create art every day.

I’m studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts this year, majoring in Sculpture and Spatial Practice. My long term goal now is to pursue art as a fulltime career.


Jono Dunlop

Year 12 student, Jonathan (Jono) Dunlop, will exhibit his VCE Product Design and Technology product and folio in Top Designs 2019, having completed the subject in Year 11.

The philosophy behind my major piece of design was to reduce clutter and improve the functionality of a bedside table. Rather than having cords for a light, phone and laptop, with my design, all you have to do is plug in one cord. You have a light already there and, inside the drawer, you have points and usbs to charge your phone and laptop as well as a storage space for them. It means that you have a bedside table that’s neat and the notification lights on your phone and laptop don’t keep you up at night.

I like both the design and building aspects of Product Design and Technology. It’s really fascinating to see something you’ve designed on a computer become the finished product. The new Design and Technology space has everything you need to create whatever you want. You don’t really have to worry about what tools you will need when you are designing your piece.

Next year I plan to study aerospace engineering. It covers areas of engineering and also involves design and a lot of mathematics, which I enjoy.


Dougal Patterson

Dougal Patterson (OM 2018) will perform in Top Class, one of only five VCE Drama students invited to do so from across Victoria.

In the piece selected for Top Class, I play a frustrated contestant who has been barred from performing in the Eurovision Song Contest. The flamboyant individual passionately explains why he should be allowed to perform in the show to a panel of adjudicators. Unfortunately, he heads down unrelated tangents about musical activism throughout history. I wrote the piece with a comedic spin.

 It really interesting to see the power that theatre has, as an artform, to inspire change. There is such breadth you can achieve with theatre, not just to entertain – and I like doing that – but you can also make people think and make people feel about issues in our society. I think that is what is really fulfilling about it.

My longer-term aim is to be a sustainable actor albeit on the screen, or in shows I have written myself, or working in smaller independent productions. I’m currently at the Victorian College of the Arts studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre).

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