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Connecting with Identity Through Art

Four talented students recently shared their creativity with their peers, families and teachers at the annual Grade 12 IB Art Exhibition. 
The upper lobby of Denford Hall was filled with the beautiful artwork of our talented Gryphons. 

Lizu Aitken ’23 was one of the students whose work was on display. Her pieces revolve around the theme of her identity, as she is from China, her mother is French and her father is Canadian. She shares her culture through her art.

“Some pieces are nostalgic to me, or part of my childhood,” she said, noting that landscapes help inspire her. “My favourite piece is the circle canvas because it’s very different from what I usually do. I usually paint on square or rectangle canvases, so this one was really fun to do and I think it turned out the best.” 

The painting is titled “Twilight” and her official description reads, “Inspired by the sunset at Willows Beach. For the majority of my childhood, I lived close to Willows Beach. I passed each morning to go to the school at the Beach Drive campus and for years I attended the fairs and events down by the beach. At one point I would walk down during sunset and this was a calming experience during overwhelming and stressful times.” 

Lizu notes that her favourite types of mediums to work with are acrylics or watercolours. She also thinks oil pastels are fun but time-consuming. When she displays her art to her peers, she hopes it encourages them to think about who they are as people. 

“I hope they get a sense of reality and who they are,” she said. “I want my art to connect them to their personality and background.” 

Lizu said art has been an important part of her life since joining GNS at the Junior School in Junior Kindergarten

“We always had art at the Junior School, and I’ve been involved with art for my whole life,” she explained. “I did dance, played instruments and visual arts of course. So there has always been some form of art.”

As a staple of her life, she says she likes the way art allows people to express their feelings. 

“It lets you express yourself,” she said. “It’s really fun to do and it’s nice to make art when you have a lot on your mind. It’s very simple.” 

Lizu’s university applications have focussed on art programs for her post-secondary studies, specifically interior design. 

“My ultimate goal,” she added, “would be to be a successful interior designer, or even potentially an architect.” 

Glenlyon Norfolk School

Junior School (JK to Grade 5)

Middle (Grade 6 to 8) and Senior (Grade 9 to 12) Schools

We wish to acknowledge and respect the Lekwungen-Speaking Peoples on whose traditional territory we stand, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and Wsáneć Peoples whose historical relationships with the land, where we live, work, play and learn, continue to this day.