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

Art Express Virtual
www.artexpress.vr.artsunit.nsw.edu.au

Margaret Whitlam Galleries
3 July - 18 September

Grafton Regional Gallery
21 August - 3 October




Thank you to our sponsors

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Patron




Tamworth Regional Art Gallery



This collection of artworks was scheduled to appear in the Tamworth Regional Art Gallery from 31 July - 3 October but was unable to proceed due to Covid-19 restrictions. This ARTEXPRESS exhibition features exemplary Bodies of Work from the 2020 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

Will Edward Angus
Charlotte Baker
Ashton Bennett
Nissa Brennan
Anabel Burrows
Riely Byrnes
Elly Chapple
Chloe Jade Flegerbein
Annalise Froggatt
Isabella Gaffey
Stella Gavey
Louisa Gilmour
Chantell Hore
Reanne Jee Hoyle
Skye Jessett
Juliet Knuckey
Pascale Eva La Hei
Joanna Lee
Alexei Machkevitch
Mark-Lawrence Maureira
Eligh Meredith
Bella Myers
Danny Nguyen
Jade Nguyen
Finnian O'Connor
Chevon Parker
Cooper Polley
Zachary Baden Reeve
Sienna Rose Russo
Kristina Santucci
Dylan Shadbolt
Emily Spaan
Noah Standen-Roberts
Bronte Stark
Alexa Stuart
Thanaphon Tanajitsiri
Macey Watson
Lara Wighton


Will Edward Angus

Newington College
Simultaneity

My aim with Simultaneity is to leave you with more questions than answers. The truth is, we know nothing about anything as our everything could be nothing. So who are we to give answers to the questions life throws at us? Time dictates everything we do. Everything is driven by time, yet we don’t even know what time is. As Aristotle said, ‘Time is the most unknown of all unknown things.’ The more questions you ask, the more questions you will find, and the fewer answers you will have. Good luck finding your way out of this rabbit hole.

Charlotte Baker

Oxley High School
Phonophobia

Phonophobia explores the battle of mental health, particularly depression and anxiety. My screaming face represents my ongoing struggle with psychological pain. Growing up in a household with mental health issues and little understanding of how to balance life with struggle, my intent was to express my own battle and bring awareness to this sensitive topic.

Ashton Bennett

Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School
The Instinctive Barriers Placed by the Human Condition

My body of work explores the emotional layers hidden underneath our skin, and the body we present to those around us. It is an exploration of the abstract and complex nature of our hidden emotions, and how these emotions and feelings are hidden from society. I was inspired to explore this theme after slowly seeing some people shed their ‘instinctive emotional barriers’ around me, becoming more emotionally vulnerable and comfortable. The work represents that very barrier or shield in the largest painting, and the layers of emotional barriers slowly fading away in the smaller paintings.

Nissa Brennan

St Columba's Catholic College
Ephemeral

Something that is ephemeral is transitory, existing only briefly. The transiency of the cycle of life emphasises the importance of protection, safety and home. A nest represents biodiversity and biodegradation as life comes and goes, cycling with the seasons and climate. All things are connected in a volatile cycle, where every event affects the environment. A nest provides shelter and protection from the outside world for a delicate defenceless chick. This protection is fundamental to the continuity of life. Nature and home form a delicate bridge that protects the vulnerable. Disturbing this delicate ecosystem creates chaos and destruction.

Anabel Burrows

Mosman High School
Contemplation of space

My body of work explores how the serenity of nature can make us feel insignificant while inspiring a sense of the sublime. My intent in slowing down the scenes in my film, much like the loose brushstrokes used by the Romanticists, is for the audience to consider the familiar tension between humans and nature. The split shots and vertical slides make direct reference to the monotypes. Each of these represents a memory of tranquil moments when encountering the land. I used a combination of rapid strokes and sensuous colours to express the complexity of perceiving the landscape.

Riely Byrnes

Kincumber High School
Distillation of Memory and Place

Taking a reductionist approach, my body of work, Distillations of memory and place, is a series of abstract landscapes representing the essential elements of line, colour, form and texture of the natural environment. I was inspired by the coastal environment that surrounds me. My intent was to express the organic lines and textures that occur naturally by identifying the crucial elements of the environment. In developing my work I realised that perhaps they are not abstract landscapes at all, as they represent the landscape as it truly is, just distilled.

Elly Chapple

Oxley High School
D. Chapple, 82

I was interested in documenting my father’s working life and creating a visual narrative through intimate portraits and moments. The cracks and callouses of his hands, the weathered lines on his face tell his story. I was guided by my teacher and started taking photos of my father as he tended to and trained horses, and followed him to the track to photograph him in his environment. My body of work represents not only my father’s relationship with his horses but is also a tribute to him and the way I see him through the lens of an admiring daughter.

Chloe Jade Flegerbein

Moree Secondary College
Respect the Drip

My body of work is a representation of the vast landscapes and surrounding views of my hometown, Moree Plains. Through my exploration of materials I found that alcohol inks produced the deep colours I wanted to express. The fluid movement of energy in these landscapes washes over the synthetic paper in streams of colours flowing into a burst of circles. My work is heavily influenced by the colour of Wassily Kandinsky but aligns more with Jackson Pollock's use of action through line and colour. The presentation of my work is inspired by Piet Mondrian: simple positioning in an intentional manner.

Annalise Froggatt

Model Farms High School
Elemental Affinity

Affinity: a natural liking for and understanding of someone or something My body of work connects the essence of life – the elements Fire, Air, Earth and Water – to portraits of my friends interacting with Australian native animals. Through the manipulation and layering of coloured pencils on tanned paper, I express a deep association within the natural world. Each work includes an element, a person, an animal and an environment to represent a collective, and the ‘affinity’ they have with each other.

Isabella Gaffey

Colo High School
The Shed

The Shed represents the essence of mateship, shared purpose and contribution to the community in the lives of five men in their later years. Painted realistically to fully express their authenticity, my body of work is mounted using the very materials used by these men. Within the men’s shed they find belonging, friendship and an outlet for creativity with a practical purpose. Separate individuals, drawn together through their common goals and passion for working with wood, they skilfully shape this material and in turn shape their own wellbeing.

Stella Gavey

Scots All Saints College
“Tree Change” and “Tree Huggers”

My body of work explores the tree change made by my family, and my personal transition from coast to country. Aspects of the built and natural world represent the cathartic personal changes brought about by our new environment. The tactile nature of fabric and the brightly coloured embroidery express the joy and comfort found in immersing ourselves in the natural world. Simple architectural structures represent the quiet, blissful and secure sanctuary we have created. The figure, string and found objects represent how our environment moulds us and the ways in which emotional intelligence grows and adapts to where we live.

Louisa Gilmour

Warialda High School
'Everything that grows holds a little moment of perfection - I am myself alone'

According to Shakespeare, ‘All the world’s a stage’, but my body of work challenges this idea and explores instead the idea that we are all individuals striving for a sense of internal perfection. ‘Perfection’ may appear to be elusive but if perceived as a goal of balance, then it has the prospect of being achievable. My work expresses the attainment of perfection through five stages. Each stage is represented by the recurring portrait motif, carved like a fingerprint, as well as my understanding of the experiences associated with formulation of identity.

Chantell Hore

Lake Illawarra High School
Just Us

Inspired by my studies of Bill Henson’s use of dark moody lighting, my original intent was to express the personalities and moods of my dogs in a similar manner. However, during some exploratory concept drawings with charcoal, I decided to work with charcoal on fabric and to extend and develop my ideas to represent our family as a whole, complete with moods, personalities and the strong bonds between us. I retained a monochromatic colour scheme but focused on the bright, more joyful and quirky nature of my world. The resultant body of work reveals the real bosses of our home.

Reanne Jee Hoyle

Strathfield Girls High School
Dendrochronology : 1895

My body of work explores the paradox of beauty and life. Painted on slices of trees that were once alive, my work represents how the world beautifies negative aspects of life to hide its flaws and imperfections. My intent in leaving the dendrochronological rings visible on the tree slices was to express that, even though the trees themselves are no longer full of life, the rings still carry the memories of beauty and nature from when they were once alive. The reference to 1895 in the title pays tribute to the Australian Impressionists whose works were inspired by Australian nature.

Skye Jessett

St Luke's Grammar School
Age of Disruption

My body of work explores the chaotic and disrupted world we live in and its varying effects on individuals. The constant integration of new technologies and innovations into our lives can be both negative and positive. However, with the use of technology, so much more information is available. Our brains find it difficult to interpret and need a means of escape. 

Juliet Knuckey

Armidale Secondary College
Self Portrait (2020)

‘We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.’ Jim Rohn Self Portrait (2020) represents the construction of my personal identity through the influential individuals in my life. Each jigsaw piece expresses an attribute of, or a memory of, a particular person of importance, whether their impact was positive or negative. These influences connect, strengthen and evolve over time to form a character that is complex and ever-changing. Even though my body of work represents specific influences on my character, its intent is to provoke the audience to consider: who would be in your puzzle?

Pascale Eva La Hei

Abbotsleigh
Ghosts of the Casuarinas: The loss of the Glossy Black Cockatoo

The 2020 bushfires devastated the habitat of Glossy Black Cockatoos, destroying their food source of casuarina nuts and leading to a population decrease of over 70 percent. In my body of work I used the different colours of fire, from blue to a flaming red, to express the panic and fear of dispossession when both animals and humans were forced from their homes. Contrasting intense colour and charred greys I represent the decay and death in the aftermath of the fires. I see the cockatoos as symbolising our intimate relationship with the land and its native animals.

Joanna Lee

North Sydney Girls High School
Imprints

Exploring the history behind contemporary patterns, I discovered the traditional utilitarian functions that have evolved into daily contemporary fashion. To express this in my body of work, superimposed portraits represent both the contemporary and the traditional figure through the shape of the pattern. Stripes, traditionally used as jail uniforms, were reinvented as a beatnik stripe; military camouflage uniform became contemporary streetwear; and the houndstooth with its roots in farming has been rebranded in high-end wear. The wearable suit uses these patterns in a textile art design, demonstrating the avant-garde possibilities of these patterns through fabric manipulation and sculptural techniques.

Alexei Machkevitch

Reddam House
Hawkesbury

The natural world is a place of intricacy and depth. To represent a landscape, the simple reproduction of physical features will not suffice. You must include the higher level of emotion associated with it: the atmosphere and the outlook of the landscape as well as its greater impression on the psyche. The intent behind my body of work was to present a visual retrospective of Australian landscapes. The use of oil paints, oil-based thickeners and thinners served as the primary means of representing the emotion, depth and energy of each landscape on canvas for the audience.

Mark-Lawrence Maureira

Ashfield Boys High School
The Sole Trader

Through my body of work I have explored issues and ideas regarding the role of small businesses in connecting and extending cultural groups and customs, as well as the challenges they face in a market dominated by the major corporations. I was inspired to investigate these concepts due to Australia’s vast multicultural environment as well as contemporary concerns regarding the loss of culture due to mass consumerism. I used black and white charcoal on paper to present my concepts, placing an emphasis on dark tones to represent the sombre nature of the lives of small business owners.

Eligh Meredith

Glendale High School
Down to Earth

Jack William Meredith is down to earth. ‘Down to earth’ not being a term, but a mantra. A physical being. These three words becoming an embodiment of my Grandfather, a father to many, who passed away in November 2019. A substantial figure in my eyes, to tell his story I have curated six photographs that represent the ideal of a father figure. Through my own interpretation, with hidden messages scattered throughout, Down to Earth expresses the attitudes and influences of my Grandfather. A celebration of life, and of his positive influence upon all.

Bella Myers

Toronto High School
Spectral

In my body of work, Spectral, my intent was to engage the audience with its bold abstraction and luminous colour palette of cobalt blue and aquamarine; to mesmerise the audience with the saturated colour palette that reverberates across the panels. While my work is purely concerned with aesthetics, the flowing arcs and minimalist forms allude to dramatic interstellar landscapes, and the juxtaposed surfaces are reminiscent of traditional oil painted vessels. Using a macro lens and metallic paper to enhance the curvilinear pictorial space, I created seductive surfaces of highly emotive and postmodern imagery that invites the audience’s own interpretation.

Danny Nguyen

St Johns Park High School
Mr Fahrenheit

‘I won’t be a rock star. I will be a legend.’ Freddie Mercury My body of work is an appreciation and grand celebration of the legacy of rock singer Freddie Mercury and the musical discography of Queen. In my work I explore Mercury’s flamboyant, theatrical and energetic stages and celebrate the timelessness and universality of the music of Queen. The multiple colourful artworks represent the emotions and energy of Queen’s music and stages.

Jade Nguyen

Freeman Catholic College
Stoic Beauty

The bushfires in Australia during the summer of 2019–20 evoked an emotional intensity within me to celebrate the perseverance and resilience of native flora. It is important to be conscious of the glimmer of hope that slowly unravels before us; the remaining standing trees, plants and flowers that continue to develop their recovery from the flames. My body of work represents the sacrifice of our landscape that is taken for granted in our daily lives. With these wooden panels and black ink I pay homage to the ongoing rejuvenation and healing of Australia.

Finnian O'Connor

Blue Mountains Grammar School
Lost Boys

My intent in Lost Boys was to commemorate the casualties of youth in service during wartime; a tribute to those who gave their life before being able to live it. The inspiration for this body of work came from seeing the artworks at the Australian War Memorial and noticing a lack of recognition for underage soldiers who fought and perished for their country. The work represents a moment of humanity amid the chaos of war, inviting the audience into the personal solace of a brief period of peace for six boys simply sharing a cup of tea.

Chevon Parker

Albury High School
Forming Functional Forms

I started wheel throwing in Year 11 and committed myself to exploring different forms, joining methods and surface qualities, throwing finer pots the more I worked on the wheel. Inspired by Clarice Cliff, I started noticing the art deco style in the architecture of Albury’s buildings. Functionality is an important aspect of my body of work, and my intent is for the viewer to question whether the pieces can be used or not, while the simplicity of the glaze is intended to make the viewer focus more on form than decoration. The photos explore the 3-D nature of the work.

Cooper Polley

Glendale High School
The quieter you are, the more you can hear

My body of work uses photography to express the connection which I have with the ocean. Most of my photography was done in the water, giving the audience the feeling of being a part of the view rather than looking into it. The ocean is constantly changing but also has consistent ‘moods’ which recur and always evoke the same feeling in me. My intent was to represent the consistency of these recurring moods through my photography. I feel I have always been connected with the ocean, so I’m just trying to share this through my work.

Zachary Baden Reeve

St Marys Senior High School
The Silent Cry of the Educated Dead

When we reach the end of our lives, what is it that we leave behind that shows we were really once here? When we are gone, were all the years poured into our education really worth it? The Silent Cry of the Educated Dead represents the endless cycle of productivity over individuality, created as a result of the institutionalised education system. Is the value of a human life the sum of their achievements, or have we missed something crucial?

Sienna Rose Russo

Abbotsleigh
Smart Reconstructed

My body of work is an exploration into the simple beauty of architecture as an underappreciated artform. I digitally constructed urban scenes using photographs of textured paper, with reference to painter Jeffrey Smart’s city scenes. The smaller 3-D structure mimics the construction process of my larger photographs, building layers to create depth. My work represents urban environments that are familiar to the everyday viewer.

Kristina Santucci

Glenmore Park High School
The Event Horizon

Going into space is my greatest dream but equally my biggest fear. So I have represented this ambivalence in a surrealist body of work. Following an astronaut’s trip to space, I explore the wonders of life beyond Earth; with tardigrades as large as humans and the bounds of the universe even larger, our amazement and wonder are shattered as we discover the ending of the story. But we still ask, was it worth it? As astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson said, ‘Without a doubt, the most spectacular way to die in space is to fall into a black hole.’

Dylan Shadbolt

North Sydney Boys High School
Midnight Presence

With nightfall, Australia’s suburbs and their surrounds are plunged into darkness, the spirit of daytime transformed into a sense of vacancy and apprehension. The representations of empty scenes in my body of work focus on the night-time interactions of artificial light and urban form. Isolated and melancholy, these unguarded locations provide for no-one, merely acting as ineffectual traces of human existence. The camera’s gaze into these areas is detached and almost voyeuristic, recording the unnerving and uncanny presence that permeates the night. My work confronts the audience to appreciate night’s nihilistic, eerie and tense nature – but also its often-overlooked beauty.

Emily Spaan

Whitebridge High School
Friends

For my body of work I chose to use my close friends as models. By first drawing them in a dark room with coloured lights I was able to place even more attention on their facial structures and youthfulness. To me, the bright colours represent their personalities and give them even more character.

Noah Standen-Roberts

Armidale Secondary College
A Series of Lessons

My body of work, A Series of Lessons, is a self-portrait of the period of my life between the ages of 12 and 18 years old (2013–2020). The work is a deconstructed representation of my growth, and the physical and emotional changes that occurred throughout these formative years. Each piece of the work plays a different role in encouraging self-reflection and contemplation on one’s own life and experiences.

Bronte Stark

De La Salle Catholic College Cronulla
High Vis

The Rural Fire Service is important to me personally as I live in Jannali which has a history of bushfire emergencies. Inspired by an article about female firefighters in the Australian Women’s Weekly in January 2020, my body of work pays homage to these women’s courage and selflessness. The title of my work, High Vis, refers to women firefighters stepping up from unseen auxiliary roles to the front lines. I used a coarse milled titanium white to create bulk and texture, applied thick layers of oil paint over an acrylic underpainting and then experimented using spatulas, palette knives and brushes.

Alexa Stuart

Lambton High School
At Your Door

My body of work represents my intense emotional reaction to the devastating 2019–20 nation-wide bushfires that I witnessed personally and through the media. Each day, as I looked outside at the orange, smoke-filled sky, there was an ominous, almost apocalyptic atmosphere. Even though I had been active in the youth climate movement for over a year, that summer was the moment that it truly hit home that climate change is here. Now. At your door. Are you listening?

Thanaphon Tanajitsiri

Springwood High School
Conversion of 2-3, 3-2 Dimensions

Architects begin with a 2D design and transform it through 3D modelling. The work of an architectural photographer is to capture a 3D space, transforming it into a photographic image. Their role is to try to think like an architect, to understand the concept of building the building. They do this by seeing the potential of ideas, forms, spaces and light. The architectural photographer reverses the architect’s process, hoping to maintain the beauty and integrity of the design.

Macey Watson

Presbyterian Ladies' College Sydney
Counterbalance: the dichotomy of the mundane and the chaotic

In my body of work, a series of ordinary daily settings, I have explored the importance of appreciating the mundane. I have used contrasting mediums and juxtaposed different styles to represent the intricacies hidden within seemingly ordinary and dull environments. With sfumato painting techniques and sketchy black pen I present a series of binaries; interior vs exterior, light vs dark, structural vs organic. My intent is to expose the paradoxes and dichotomies that exist within common settings, and for these representations of everyday life to prompt the viewer to reflect on their own environments of familiarity and appreciate their complexity.

Lara Wighton

Xavier High School
Drawing Breath

Our breath is characterised by a subconscious, constant rhythm: a pattern that can be broken. Often overlooked in daily life, it is the single mechanism that keeps us alive. The tenor of our breathing also signifies our state of mind, physicality and social surroundings. Our environment and internal state have the capacity to shape every breath, whether it is deliberate or thoughtless. Using brown paper bags I reference hyperventilation, lungs, trees, inflation and deflation. Drawing Breath explores the complexity and significance of our breathing and its ever-changing nature. Thus, through my body of work I make the invisible visible.