ARTEXPRESS is an annual
series of exhibitions of
exemplary artworks created
by New South Wales
visual arts students for the
Higher School Certificate
examination.





CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Due to COVID-19 some exhibitions have been cancelled and others extended.

Hazelhurst Arts Centre
22 June - 16 August 2020

The Armory, Sydney Olympic Park
4 July - 2 August 2020



Griffith Regional Art Gallery



This collection of artworks was scheduled to appear in the Griffith Regional Art Gallery from 3 April 2020 to 10 May 2020 but was unable to proceed due to Covid-19 restrictions. This ARTEXPRESS exhibition features 29 exemplary Bodies of Work from the 2019 Visual Arts HSC. Artworks that are featured in ARTEXPRESS exhibitions each year are nominated by NESA during the HSC marking process and then selected by curators from hosting galleries around NSW.

Selected Artists

Abigail Chiwawaya
Anna Verheul
Ava Lacoon-Robinson
Bella Lamaro
Daniel Tandany
Eleanor Thorpe
Emma Black
Gia Glick
Hannah Dunn
Hannah Kohler
Isabella Carturan
James Rossiter
Jia Lin
Julia Spargo
Lulu Anderson
Marielle Caponas
Mikhaili Apap
Milla Jones
Olivia Lane
Phoebe Hay
Ruby Bradbury
Samuel Forster
Sienna Curby
Sophie Zhang
Xinhui Qiu
Yan Wan
Yuting Zheng
Kai Taylor
Jack McGrath


Abigail Chiwawaya

Mount Carmel Catholic College
Girls Like Us

Some women, I believe, are neglected in feminist discussions. Although the pressures all women face may overlap, there are women – such as those represented in my body of work – who face issues on top of sexism such as racism, fat-phobia, Islamophobia, homophobia and oppressive beauty standards. These types of discrimination are rampant within our world today. To express the overarching experience of women, it is critical to acknowledge the distinct, diverse and multi-layered experiences that all women face, whether they align with or divert from each other.

Anna Verheul

Abbotsleigh
Fading Lights - Lost Worlds

My body of work explores the ephemeral quality of time in relation to our environment, focusing on globalisation as our relationship to our surroundings diminishes. Through the exploration of delicacy and light, I represent the inherent yet overlooked beauty that permeates nature. This is furthered through the use of layering, inviting the viewer to look deeper, and see more. As our world continues to evolve, our relationship with it continues to fade. My intent is to remind the viewer of our lost worlds that must be found again.

Ava Lacoon-Robinson

SCEGGS Darlinghurst
Indigenous Justice

The intent behind my body of work is to make a statement about the continuation of the discriminatory policies and brutality inflicted on Indigenous people since colonisation. I have drawn a series of objects with a visual quality that emphasises the innocence of objects. These objects represent real cases in which victims were arrested, assaulted and/or died in custody. It is important to recognise that although this work highlights a few cases it is a story of thousands. No one should face incarceration and brutality because of their heritage and the colour of their skin.

Bella Lamaro

Kincoppal - Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart
Self-Dissections

Motivated by my fascination with medicine, and having had exposure to the afflictions and frailty of internal bodily systems, Self-Dissections represents the delicacy and fragility of the human body. My anatomical self-dissections are drawn in traditional poses, in which the subject is intentionally peeling back the stony exterior to reveal the vulnerable interior. The fusion of the botanical and anatomical spheres expresses the delicate, the fleeting and the fragile, reinforced through the delicate paper used for the ink drawings and laser-cut anatomical–botanical organs. The backlit petri-dishes expose the interior delicacy of the transparent organs.

Daniel Tandany

St Aloysius' College
Cluster

My body of work explores the type of connection I have with significant places from my family’s heritage. Born between two cultures, what I find interesting when revisiting these locations every year is the lack of connection that I feel to a place that I should call home. My illustrations were initially sketched then scanned to be rendered in Photoshop. My intent was to represent the enduring features of place and culture, serving as a window onto this ‘utopia’. The four works are scenes from my grandmother’s shop in Salatiga, Indonesia.

Eleanor Thorpe

St Andrew's Cathedral School
Peace in My Pain

The motivation for my body of work was to come to terms with traumatic events from my childhood. Navigating my way through a broken family and my own struggles with mental health, this work represents not only my modes of escape and release, but also coming to accept the hardships that haunt me. Ghostly yet piercing lines express the physical manifestation of trauma that encapsulates me. Paper cut-outs hang in a fragile and delicate state on the wall, expressing the processing and stages of this trauma. Pain is compulsory, but suffering is optional. We can find peace in our pain and overcome it.

Emma Black

Toongabbie Christian College
First World Problems

First World Problems explores the divide between first and third world nations by contrasting their cultures and confronting first world attitudes. Coffee and clothing manufacture are two of the largest industries exposed by fair trade investigators for their unethical production practices, so I have used these materials in representing family members mourning those who died in the Bangladesh factory collapse of 2013. In doing so, my intent was to contrast first world and third world problems: the first world problem of spilling coffee on your shirt, and the problems faced by people in third world nations every day.

Gia Glick

Moriah College
Cloud-e-scape

The earth is alive. It breathes. It grows, just as we do. As the boundaries between abstract and landscape merge, my intent is to evoke a sense of healing and comfort, allowing the viewer to experience the unity and infinite flow within nature. My body of work uses the symbolism of clouds and nature to represent the shifting moods of the landscape. Clouds fluctuate depending on place, time and season – affecting our human psyche and emotions. The transient nature of clouds is also associated with the impermanence of our inner state.

Hannah Dunn

Kincoppal - Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart
Pain and Patriarchy

My body of work explores how gender is identified through a simple garment, tool or object that embodies rich historical, cultural and personal significance. The object becomes a point of focus, already entangled in a system of complex implications. I chose objects that allude to the past and future pain experienced by females throughout time. The bra, apron and bonnet are all stereotypically female garments, and often seen as a symbol of weakness or oppression. In an allusion to marriage, I destroyed these garments by covering them in 65,000 ‘bridal pins’. The dustpan, ironing board, and teapot still represent female reality today.

Hannah Kohler

Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts
Ecological Invasion

My body of work explores the destruction of Australian native species due to the introduction of foreign species into the ecosystem. Since European settlement, the Australian native fauna population has crumbled, with many creatures at risk of extinction. With an established feeding ground across 76% of the Australian landmass, the fox is not picky in what it uses as a food source. The fox within my work has an overpowering physical stance, preying on the small native creatures, representing all introduced species including humans who threaten this fragile environment. The fragmentation of the native animals further amplifies the vulnerability and collapse of indigenous fauna populations.

Isabella Carturan

Murrumbidgee Regional High School
The War Within

It is difficult for me to describe how war, depression and beauty are interlaced within my body of work. War is an agonising event created from conflict, yet there is beauty in it – that a person would lay down their life out of love for others. Depression is conflict of the mind and is very real. My Dad is the subject of my work. There is sadness yet kindness in his expression. He has always been passionate about studying war and built the plane his hands are holding. His eyes persevere in seeing hope within the grey.

James Rossiter

The Riverina Anglican College
Disenfranchised

My intent in Disenfranchised is to reflect on the impact of European colonialism on the world throughout history and how its negative repercussions have affected indigenous cultures. I have used pastels to develop traditional colours and the multiple textures present in traditional costumes and body paint. Through the use of fracturing, I represent and acknowledge the breakdown of indigenous cultures caused by European colonialism.

Jia Lin

Beverly Hills Girls High School
Abandoned

I found a newborn kitten abandoned on the side of the road, along with three siblings that sadly were already dead. While attempting to take care of the last remaining one, it also died. This kitten is represented in my body of work lying in death, appearing to be asleep. In my work I explore the aspects of cats that appeal to us, overlooking the responsibilities of pet ownership. I feel deeply frustrated that lives unable to sustain themselves were left to perish. Many people desire pets’ companionship, but do not realise the responsibilities involved until they own the pet.

Julia Spargo

James Sheahan Catholic High School
Anomalous frame of mind

Viewing a situation from differing perspectives is often confronting. Using the technique of anamorphosis, my work aims to challenge audiences by doing just that. To the naked eye, the skulls – referencing the ‘frame’ of the human mind, which determines the perspective we choose – may seem distorted, but when viewed as a reflection they appear conventional. My intent is to provoke viewers to think about how a situation often might not make sense from one perspective, but when looked at from a different vantage point it emerges clearly.

Lulu Anderson

Ascham School
April 25, 2015

My body of work represents the devastation and destruction experienced by the Nepalese population in the 2015 Nepal earthquake – on April 25, 2015. This earthquake was the deadliest in the Asian region in 81 years, affecting the majority of the Nepalese population. Each print in my work incorporates a different aspect of this natural disaster and a detail that refers to Nepal’s rich and enduring culture.

Marielle Caponas

Ascham School
You May House Their Bodies But Not Their Souls

For my body of work I explored the unity of body, mind and soul. This exploration led me to use my work to celebrate the ethereal and fragile nature of the birth process and its overwhelming beauty. It represents how in essence birth is about both protection and innocence. The complex experience of birth and life is expressed in my work by combining tactile, visual and audio elements. My title comes from Kahlil Gibran’s poem, On Children.

Mikhaili Apap

Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School
Torn

I was inspired to create a work based around twins, so have used their innate connections to explore the concept of herd mentality or following the crowd. Many people conform to social influences or social pressures which can limit the way they express themselves. In my body of work I have used representations of my twin sister and myself to emphasise both physical differences and individuality. The faces pulling away in the larger work suggest an individual’s urge to break free from the social norms and live their life through their own decisions.

Milla Jones

Mudgee High School
Not What You're Dealt

I am fascinated with surrealism, the specifics of signs and symbols and the effects that they have on different groups of people. Traditional surrealists like Kahlo and Dalí used their own lives and personal experiences to fuel the meanings of the cultural symbols in their works. My intent was to emulate this approach. Using exclusively Victorian era symbols I have created a full story in each card, united by the common mantra, ‘It’s not what you’re dealt ... it’s how you play.’ Each card represents a relationship between people and the dynamics of power, wealth and fear in the Victorian era.

Olivia Lane

Roseville College
The Andromeda Galaxy

My generation’s intense romanticisation of the 20th century has been taken by popular culture to a point where last century’s reality has been distorted. Every dot I have drawn, using the stippling technique, contributes to my creation of seven female icons of the 20th century as constellations within the Andromeda Galaxy. These constellations imitate the astronomy of Greek mythology, representing the almost divine status that has been assigned to these women. The Greek myth of the princess Andromeda demonstrates the same contrast between the idealised and the unsettling as my representations of these 20th century women.

Phoebe Hay

Newtown High School of Performing Arts
XY

XY explores the internalised world of gender expression, representing both a conformity to and subversion of the masculine archetype. My body of work challenges assumptions of gender binary, effectively blurring the lines between what is attributed to male or female gender. By using adolescent males as my muse, the subject is simultaneously divested of and empowered by these gender challenging representations. In using weaving, with its traditionally female connotations, I manipulate the subject’s sense of self, creating both a physically and psychologically fragmented identity. XY’s intent is to articulate the tension underlying the complexities of gender expression within postmodern society.

Ruby Bradbury

Trinity Anglican College - Albury
A Voluptuary of Mothers

My three ceramic forms represent three female artists: Frida Kahlo, Jenny Orchard and Del Kathryn Barton. Each piece expresses a visual language of colour, shapes and symbols that is unique to that artist’s practice. I see these three women as the ‘mothers’ of females in art. Each explores her own sense of self in her art, particularly focusing on what it means to be a woman. Like Jenny Orchard’s ‘Interbeings’, my forms look real and familiar, although unlike anything ever seen before. I am challenging the audience to question what constitutes a ‘mother’, questioning perceptions and stereotypes, fostering new thoughts and ideas.

Samuel Forster

The King's School
The Hollow Man

In my body of work I used the mediums of photography, installation and sculpture to explore the isolating forces of our contemporary world. Incorporating intertextual references to TS Eliot’s The Hollow Men, my work expresses the increasing isolation felt by men and women. Using long-exposure photography and the fragmentation of the human form I represent this isolation splintering our mental state, leading to the disintegration of the self and identity. This fragmentation is further juxtaposed, through installation, with the completeness of the natural environment.

Sienna Curby

Northern Beaches Secondary College Freshwater Senior Campus
The Time Inbetween

Life makes us face the mirror of our past and the memories we cherish. My body of work explores the intricacies of a life, seen in a linear but subjective way. My intent was to represent a close family friend and the beauty of a life well lived: her achievements, memories and development over 67 years. I worked with distinct changes in the representation of her past and her present, with a bold and striking portrayal of youth facing the delicate marks of her present self. The indistinct objects below the portraits have significance for her identity and connect to her across her whole life.

Sophie Zhang

North Sydney Girls High School
IMAGINE if you could buy freedom

Imagine if you could buy freedom? For some, the cost is much greater than for others. Gold is indicative of privilege, wealth, social class and freedom. Gold is also the colour of the thermal blankets that refugees drape themselves in. For refugees, gold is not a symbol to display their prosperity or liberty, but a tool for survival. Playing upon gold’s associations of commerce, celebrity and wealth, in jarring contrast to the plight of refugees, my body of work’s intent is to challenge the viewer by asking them to reconsider their understanding of the true value of freedom, and its cost.

Xinhui Qiu

Prairiewood High School
Entwined

My body of work uses traditional painting methods to represent my Chinese background, using traditional symbolic Chinese still life objects and antiques in detail in three of the panels. Creating this work inspired me to revisit and learn more about my Chinese background. By contrast, the thin abstract Australian landscape paintings in the middle show my affiliation with my new Australian culture. I have used abstract methods for these two panels. My intent is to show my acceptance of new forms as well as a reconnection with the history and art of my heritage. My work is the embracing of old versus new, hence the title: Entwined.

Yan Wan

Abbotsleigh
Presence. Absence.

My great-grandfather was a pilot who flew planes over ‘The Hump’ (The Himalayas) for China during World War 2. He kept records that show he flew the greatest number of flights over The Hump. My family and I only found out about his flying experiences a few years ago. It is such a pity that we could not enjoy his stories about his experiences as a pilot. Through Presence. Absence. my intent is to honour my great-grandfather for his courage, and my grandmother’s memories of him being both absent and present in her life

Yuting Zheng

Gosford High School
And Death Shall Have No Dominion

Memento mori: remember that you must die Despite our inability to alter our fate of death, our pursuit of ways to defy mortality never ceases. Inspired by 17th century Dutch still lifes, my body of work is a series of paintings that explores our ambitious will to refuse death through contemporary innovations. An enduring beauty is unveiled through the mundane technology of plastic, representing the current commercial demand for preservation in contrast to the acceptance of memento mori in the past. This work also gave me an opportunity to explore my personal fascination with the details of reflective and transparent surfaces.

Kai Taylor

Northern Beaches Secondary College Balgowlah Boys Campus
FLUX

Flux is an abstracted expression of the unpredictable and enigmatic coastline of Sydney’s northern beaches. Inspired by the hypnotic and mesmerising video pieces of Shaun Gladwell, the abstracted and augmented videography of Daniel Crooks and the distorted, intrinsic and detailed depiction of bodies of water from landscape painter JMW Turner, Flux represents the ever-changing coastal environment that has underpinned my childhood and that continues to perplex and amaze me.

My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Daniel Crooks, Shaun Gladwell, JMW Turner.

Jack McGrath

Reddam House
RAZORDANCE

My body of work is a modern interpretation of early surrealist cinema by artists like Cocteau, Dali and Buñuel. Its title, in accordance with surrealist tradition, is a seemingly meaningless abstraction – like the work itself – and makes no attempt to decipher it.

My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists and works: Jean Cocteau (dir.), Orpheus; René Magritte, The lovers; Hans Richter, Filmstudie; Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy; Luis Buñuel; David Lynch (dir.), Mulholland Drive