Margaret Whitlam Galleries
This collection of artworks was scheduled to appear in Margaret Whitlam Galleries from 4 July 2020 to 18 September 2020 but was unable to proceed due to Covid-19 restrictions. This ARTEXPRESS exhibition features 36 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.
Su Ha Hwang
Akshkumar PatelMitchell High School
My intent in Export Culture was to address the issue of people being embarrassed by criticism of the traditional dress they wear. Every immigrant has been a victim of this at some point in their life. All three subjects represented are from different cultural backgrounds, and all have been victimised and subjected to this embarrassment. Your culture is your brand. Support it with love, not embarrassment.
My body of work uses techniques from traditional Iranian style miniatures and carpets to explore my Iranian heritage, which was discarded to participate in Australian culture. My sister and I immigrated here when young, so have little recollection of Iran and identify as Australian. My grandmother lived her entire life in pre-revolution Iran, with a deep connection and love for her country. I was deeply influenced by her stories, which act as the 'thread' binding me to my roots. Through the creation of this work I revised my position within both the Australian and Iranian cultures, renewing my connection with my heritage. Hope is not lost.
Amy CroweSt Patrick's College Sutherland
In my body of work I have explored the feeling of nostalgia and the desire to look back on the past. Throughout this exploration, I have reminisced about my own childhood and experienced fond yet wistful feelings. My work represents snippets of memories which bring back these conflicting feelings. Although these images are personal to me, I hope to evoke that same nostalgic feeling within the audience as they consider their own past.
Charlotte TillbrookLoreto Normanhurst
Home among the gum trees
My body of work Home Among the Gum Trees explores themes of migration. It is highly influenced by my personal experience of migrating from England to Australia when I was a child. I have placed native English birds in Australian flora to represent those who have migrated into a new culture and country. I broke away from the typical medium of printmaking, using gouache watercolour for the flora and fauna. This choice was heavily influenced by Rachel Newling’s practice.
Shona BolstCentral Coast Adventist School
Content Disposition explores the way people live and what they value. I was inspired by a trip to South Africa, where I experienced a vibrant community spirit and pride in the shanty towns which often cover miles of the country's landscape. Despite having very little, people took much pride in their humble dwellings and meagre possessions. Through trial and error in sculpting, collaging, dry brushing and assemblage, I sought to express the raw beauty in these landscapes, and the contentment in the simplicity of life.
Darcie UrquhartSt Catherine's School
Birds of a feather
My body of work explores my fascination with the inherent links birds have with both sky and land. Each work is a portrait expressing the bird’s individuality, representing its flight mechanisms, its body structure and the intricacies of its plumage. I have included maps in reference to their innate drive to seek certain locations, as if they are programmed to travel.
Elyssa WhittakerToronto High School
Newcastle is a subjective and structural investigation of my home town: a coastal city where the sea meets the shore. My body of work represents the richness of the industrial world in my community. The strong lines and saturated colours remind us of a thriving industry. The work shows various aspects of the 'Steel City', including BHP’s Newcastle steelworks that had a strong influence on the state's economy and closed exactly 20 years ago in 1999. The photographs were taken in Carrington, Kooragang Island and Newcastle Harbour.
Emily StewartCovenant Christian School
In word and in deed
Using the motifs of books and hands, I represent an individual’s ‘story’ as a collection of words and actions. My body of work also refers to the power of speech and action contained in collective stories through the diversity of the books, languages and media that I have used.
Emma BlackToongabbie 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.
Jemma DavisNepean Creative and Performing Arts High School
The Edge of Existance
The Edge of Existence features three endangered feline species, represented as wanderers in an everlasting and surreal landscape. This emphasises the loneliness of their limited numbers and introduces the concept of a lack of reality. Are they real, or are they to be a forgotten piece of our world? My interest in animals, specifically felines, inspired me to investigate endangered species and how best to express their situation in my body of work. I explored many concepts through trial and error and concept sketches before reaching my final product. Using digital programs meant that I had my work with me at all times.
Jia LinBeverly Hills Girls High School
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.
Jimin LeeTyndale Christian School
Dear Emotions, Sincerely your’s, Memories
Memories can deceive your emotions. Despite experiencing troublesome circumstances, we may be left with a nostalgic memory. I used different media in my body of work, including watercolour and photomedia, to express these compelling powers of memory. Through representations of indoor spaces, past memories of my hometown in Korea are depicted colourfully with the use of a specific colour palette symbolically linking my nostalgic memories with my emotions. The monotone photographic images convey a sense of melancholy and wanting to go back. Yet there is a gleam of hope that the present unpleasant situation will soon become a welcome memory.
Jordan PazdjaraPatrician Brothers' College Blacktown
Death of a Tree
Behind our daily lives is the destruction of endless landscapes. Our concrete jungles plague the Earth and ultimately take away from our universal mother’s fruits. My body of work represents moments in time throughout the demise of our planet. Altering colour and print I create isolated landscapes converging on the power line of our reality.
Lauren TrounceLithgow High School
“The Social Fabric”
The often hidden side of rising property values and insolvency is the elderly and disadvantaged who became displaced. They lose not only their homes, but their community connections and self-worth. My body of work was very experimental and threw up many problems, not least of which was finding a way to stop the hot glue I used from sticking to the horizontal surface I was working on. I chose the glue so that the work would resemble a woven fabric with voids and solid thread.
Lemah OryaSt Marys Senior High School
Mending Broken things after the Afghan War
My body of work represents the process of restoration occurring in my homeland of Afghanistan. Just as nature can flourish and overcome the destruction caused by war, wild flora and mushrooms emerge from within the cracks of each broken ceramic. In the Japanese Kintsugi technique of mending broken things with gold, the cicatrix of each piece becomes a thing of beauty. I was inspired by Frida Kahlo's own exploration of her cultural heritage, my work embodying the hope that one day Afghanistan will regain its rich culture. As humans, it is inevitable that we encounter adversity. However, through this we can find a new form of beauty and healing.
Michaela BarnertCheltenham Girls High School
In my body of work I have manipulated aerial photography of oceanic environments, taking the vast seascape and condensing it into a contained, reimagined space. My intent is to represent the impact of human activity, forever reducing our natural world. The topographical angle emphasises the surreal nature of the world, as well as its feminine characteristics. Conversely, the photographs also work to display the process of regeneration and growth, and how the ocean is a vessel for environmental rebirth.
Lillian IvesFrensham School
Nature’s impact on people
I looked to my family and our property for subject matter in my body of work, an autobiographical narrative on my heritage and the land we rely on. The translucent painted portraits float over earthy, coloured etchings of cracked dirt suggesting resilience and determination. Embedded into the painting is a layer of cloth creating a textured surface from which the faces to emerge. Water is a constant theme. The lack of it is devastating, represented by the dead tree and parched earth. The anticipation and joy of rain coming are expressed in the hopeful sky and playful horses milling in the muddy, soaked ground.
Marie HerreraBossley Park High School
The Fragility of Existence
In my body of work, seven main drawings are linked by tree roots. The drawings progress through the cycle of life and death, from darker pieces, representing death and the emptiness it creates, to pieces that are lighter, enriched with flora and fauna and human life, encompassing the wonder of life. The work expresses my fascination with the way the purity and fragility of life are often overshadowed by the immorality of humanity. It represents the darkness and lightness experienced throughout human existence, as well as my personal growth.
Mia PhillipsXavier Catholic College Ballina
"The fox and the hare (a contemporary fable of colonisation) "
In making my body of work my intent was to explore the challenging position of introduced species within Australia’s landscape. The artifice of human intervention and colonisation has created harsh relationships between these animals. I was first influenced by the overwhelming amount of roadkill I saw every day and began to realise how introduced animals are disregarded as if they have little or no value. Using a range of materials I have represented two ‘pests’ in a more vulnerable light, allowing the possibility for empathy. My work is subtitled, A contemporary fable of colonisation.
Mia TindalePLC Armidale
GUESSTURES - SIGNS OF SILENT EXPRESSION
Communication extends beyond the spoken word. Our bodies speak the truth that our mouths forbid. We can express our innermost contemplations through a simple gesture. The way we move, fidget, relax, touch and reach provide a greater voice than we give to our words. But clenched fists or clasped hands are not linked exclusively to one meaning. Our body language creates boundless communication, with hand movements acting as key markers of private sentiment.
Nathaniel LoweEpping Boys High School
My body of work draws the audience’s attention to the specific human activities which are threatening Australian animals through the visual relationship of double exposure. The works represent three endangered Australian species: Carnaby’s cockatoo, grey nurse shark and bilby. They also represent Brett Redman, CEO of AGL Energy, and Jeyakumar Janakaraj, CEO of Adani Australia. Australia’s ecosystem is under threat as Australia has the highest extinction rate in the world.
Noah RobertsSt Philip's Christian College - Waratah
Lion of Judah; Agnus Dei
My body of work explores the duality of the lion and the lamb and expresses the Christian understanding of the Trinity and nature of God. Elements from both the New and Old Testaments are referred to in the intricate design of both the lion and the lamb. The lion represents the protective nature of God while the lamb is representative of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I chose to use digital media to communicate my concept through symbolism and Christian iconography.
Oliver PitmanSydney Grammar School
Argos waited 20 years for his master to come home, finally dying, satisfied, on Odysseus’s return from his voyage. My intent in my body of work is to break down this almost mythical status of the bond between human and canine into the far more true — and often tragic — neglect of the identity of each dog as an individual. Too often we see dogs in their secondary role as ‘man’s best friend’, permitting a blind eye to be turned to the independent personalities of dogs as emotionally astute creatures in themselves. Through my work I hope to remind viewers of this.
Olivia JefferyKempsey Adventist School
Fera - in a wild state especially after escape from domestication
Humanity’s primal instincts are still on display in the modern world. In my body of work the dog and cat – ‘dog chases cat’ – juxtapose the extreme roles in modern life. The comical figures represent how we disguise the simplicity of human nature and the roles and behaviours we adopt. Their aged appearance expresses the historical continuity of primal roles in society. Fera asks the question: has humankind evolved as much as we think it has, or are we just feral after all?
Samantha MorrisonCaroline Chisholm College
Future Past explores a declining religious landscape through a future where Australian churches are in ruins. Architectural fragments and the broken structures of traditional churches represent a society in which churches are forgotten and deteriorate, advancing religious decline. My ceramic forms and drawings reference familiar Sydney churches, dilapidated and defaced. By adding graffiti I refer to our neglect of traditional religious establishments. To construct my series of church fragments I used slabs and clay additions finished with oxides, dry brush underglaze and graffiti applied in underglaze. The drawings emphasise this concept of religious traditions disappearing.
Sophie ZhangNorth 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.
Timothy DownsDubbo School of Distance Education
Brave New World
I used old manila folders and recycled materials in my body of work to represent a dystopian society. I reflect on our planet's future and our politicians’ lack of forward thinking in protecting our planet for future generations. With increasing climate change and ever-dwindling resources, the earth is unsettled and people have moved to the sky to escape the destruction they have brought upon themselves. Pollution and massive storms, severe droughts and extreme flooding have become the norm. Artificial floating cities and airships for transportation to help move away from climate issues and to discover new resources are now a major part of this new society.
William RussellThe King's School
Relief in Flight
“I see a bird on midsummers night High aloft, in all its might. I see sweeping strides of feathered plumes And once it left Its presence theft I stand aghast, as night resumes.” Odisium Galdor c. 1650, Flight of NightMy body of work uses a range of mediums, with an emphasis on printmaking techniques supported by photomedia and sculpture. These mediums explore the wonder of flight, the transience of the briefest of flashing moments seen in raw, unhindered displays of power as the flight of birds marks the skies.
Xinhui QiuPrairiewood High School
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.
Zac GiaprakasSt Patrick's College, Strathfield
Vendors of Cambodia
Artworks should be a catalyst for conversation, exposing uncomfortable truths and connecting communities and beliefs. Travelling in Cambodia in late 2018 I observed that everyone has to find a way to earn a living, including young and old. I was intrigued by this culture of perseverance and the stark contrast with Australia. My body of work represents the spectrum of ages earning a living; two children under the age of 7 and a woman over the age of 85. I am bringing to the forefront aspects of a different culture to ignite personal and collective reflection on who we deem fit to work.
Zoe BattenWyndham College
The Forbidden Zone
As the influence of technology increases, we as humans must consider the future of human migration. Heavily inspired by 1950s art styles, The Forbidden Zone draws on the past but also predicts a hypothetical future of interplanetary life. The series of digital images that accompanies the hand-drawn stop motion invites the audience to experience a science fiction atmosphere that encourages their own imagination and interpretation.
Su Ha HwangCherrybrook Technology High School
We all know who we are and where we come from. Our history and culture are what define us. But culture is more than a collection of values and the way of life of a society. It is a system or complex of distinctive attainments and traditions. Just as the language of one culture differs in fundamental respects from that of others, architecture has its own language. Its various forms represent social or cultural meaning as well as the dynamic aspects of change in that culture. My body of work represents the power and beauty of architecture, and the grandeur of people and their culture.
Kristela MozoRobert Townson High School
My Other Home - Manila
My body of work focuses on my childhood home in Manila, The Philippines. It represents the vivid colours and energy that linger in my memory. I hold my childhood home very close to my heart. My intent in my work was to express the joy that I would feel back at home.
Sarah SharwoodEmanuel School
The Immortality of an Ephemeral Existence
To remember something is not to see how it was in truth, but rather how you would prefer to see it. Memories become deformed entities that evolve with time. My work touches upon how we prolong the lives of individuals who have passed, using jewellery to represent the personal relationship an individual can have with a remaining symbol of a person’s character. Jewellery can be more than an adornment – it can be an heirloom which carries the memory and character of an individual. It is through this legacy that a person's short life becomes 'immortalised'.
Michaela PisaniWilloughby Girls High School
I believe adoption is both a negative and positive experience, yet it is more often represented as having negative connotations. Adopted children are often stigmatised, seen as troublesome and sometimes ‘broken’. Television programs that document adoptees finding their birth parents often devalue their life in adoption. My body of work expresses my personal experience and viewpoint on adoption. A puppy is adopted by storks and faces many challenges, ultimately finding contentment and comfort in the good times spent with its parents, learning to love and accept its background and past.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists and works: Marc Chagall, Metz Cathedral commission; Frank Weston Benson, Herons and Lilies; Katsushika Hokusai, The Great Wave off Kanagawa; Banksy, Girl with Balloon; Piet Mondrian, Tableau I; Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans.
Nimo PyleByron Bay High School
TO LIVE WITH A BROKEN MIND
My body of work represents depression in young men, who struggle in living with mental illness and concealing those feelings on a daily basis. This is a very sensitive subject for many people today, and my film explores this as a pure and raw form of expression. The overall intent of this work is to raise awareness for suicide prevention and to open up the conversation around male mental health so it can be discussed more comfortably. I wrote an original poem and soundtrack that correlate visually to build conceptual value and express the prevalence and normality of mental illness.