“Mum,” I say quietly from the computer, “I got into Top Arts.” Every time I think of that moment it makes me laugh at the way she jumped right out of her chair, tears in her eyes.
Although it had been a distant goal throughout the year, it was in no way less difficult to believe, particularly for myself. Being accepted into Top Arts has been a great honour, and a sort of recognition for the hard work I did. I feel particularly proud to be representing my school, Wonthaggi Secondary College, where I have really enjoyed the entirety of my high school life. But most of all, Top Arts has reminded me of why I made my work in the first place, and what my work means to me.
Story telling is a major passion and influence in my work, and although I am the artist, mine is just one story. With my work on display, each person who sees it will experience a different story, and their own story will play a part in how it is told. That’s what excites me most about being part of Top Arts. I am leaving for Europe a few days after the exhibition opens, where I hope to seek new creative endeavours, and create new stories of my own. Although I will have little contact back home, it will be a surreal and comforting thought that while I am on the other side of the world, someone may be taken on a journey of their own when viewing my work, and I would never even know.
The very recent death of a close family member has also reiterated the major themes I explored in a powerfully raw and truthful way, of the ephemeral nature of life. Which brings me back to what my work means to me; endings and beginnings are ever closely entwined so that although nothing really lasts forever, stories will go on and on.