MAKING art out of 'trash' was a happy exercise and a lesson in conservation, for the students of Sacred Heart Canossian College during the school's annual art competition. The event, which was part of the school's 135th anniversary celebrations, saw the students of the school's six houses competing to collect recyclable material - including cardboard, eggs-containers, newspapers and used clothes - to fashion their three-dimensional art works. Each house was given one hour to transform discarded material into something 'creative'. The overall champion was House Keller, which won the most creative and most co-operative awards. The theme of transforming a 'fish into a dish' symbolised the need to make sacrifices in time and energy for the good of society, said house leader Bibianna Yiu Sin-ying. Art Club teacher adviser Priscilla Kwok Kit-ling said the competition proved that art was not a 'trash-producing process'. 'Many people think art lessons result in lots of rubbish being created, which only spoils the environment. This competition shows that, in fact, the opposite is true. We can use rubbish to produce art. The competition also raises students' awareness of environmental protection needs.' House Nightingale gave the winners a close fight with its caterpillar that changes into a stunning butterfly and flits in and out of a huge computer screen. The message behind the art work was that 'once we go through the process of learning, we come out as resplendent as a butterfly,' explained Eden Lee Shin-hing, the house leader. English teacher Lucilla Yip Wong Chau-yee, one of the four judges of the competition, said the competition 'drew upon the house spirit'. The school introduced the house system three years ago. 'This is more than just a competition. It is a show of team spirit, with the students doing their best for their respective houses,' Ms Wong said. Art teacher and adviser Ms Kwok said the creation of the three-dimensional art works was a training in making the most of a limited budget. Each house was given a sum of just under $400 to realise its 'transformations'. 'The job of converting rubbish into art is a problem-solving one that forces the students to think in a creative way,' she said. Here are the competition results: Overall championship - House Keller; first runner-up - House Bronte; second runner-up - Pankhurst; most creative award - House Keller; most co-operative award - House Keller.