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Where do art and environmental activism intersect? Ally is creating answers.

This article appears in:
Pathways to Uni, Student Stories, Creative Arts and Design

When asked to describe herself, CDU Bachelor of Creative Arts student Allyce (Ally) Pecket digs deep: “I’m a passionate interdisciplinary eco-feminist artist who connects aesthetic creativity and narratives about social and environmental themes.”

Environmental themes certainly resonate in Ally’s work.

In 2018 Ally created Nightcliff Dystopia: Into the Blue in collaboration with other visual arts students. The work was a series of three images that depicted a strong environmental message about plastic and the ocean. The series was presented in the lightboxes that are part of the CityLife Darwin Live platform.

Other environmentally conscious works followed, including Don’t become a Mermaid. It’s not BPA free, a 2018 work created using thin drop sheet plastic on wet human skin to evoke oceanic creatures and the impact experienced by plastic pollution.

My artistic intention was to comment on a major environmental issue while capturing people’s attention through aesthetically surprising imagery.

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Along the way, Ally’s work has attracted kudos. In 2017, while studying a Certificate IV in Visual Arts at Charles Darwin University, Ally received the Best Emerging Artist Award at the Transpirrie Exhibition. In 2019, she received the Edgar Dunis Art Scholarship as a CDU Bachelor of Creative Arts student.

But the path to artistic recognition hasn’t always been easy.

“My dream has always been to study creative arts at university, but most of my family didn’t complete tertiary education, so I didn’t get a lot of support or understanding from them for my desire to study. Which was unfortunate. Now though, my family sees how much I have grown and succeeded in my study, and that’s had a positive effect on how they view my education,” said Ally.

And Ally has advice for prospective students who aren’t sure if they’re ready for higher education.

If you haven’t studied for a while or need to improve on your grades from high school, enrol in CDU’s free Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP). This will help you lay the academic foundations to help you succeed as an undergraduate. It’s also about mindset—you have to believe in yourself too.

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"Which was unfortunate" — continues Ally. "Now though, my family sees how much I have grown and succeeded in my study, and that’s had a positive effect on how they view my education.”

So, what’s next for this prolific artist?

“At this stage I can’t give you a specific job title. But I can say that it will be along the lines of art and health, art and community-based projects and future research. And I would like to do my master’s and hopefully a PhD. My wish is to dedicate the rest of my life to the celebration of socially-minded creativity and research,” said Ally.

This article appears in:
Pathways to Uni, Student Stories, Creative Arts and Design

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