In 2014 the highly popular Top Arts celebrates its twentieth year at the National Gallery of Victoria. The exhibition presents outstanding work by students who have completed Art or Studio Arts studies in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and provides insight into young people’s ideas, thinking and creative practices. StArt Up: Top Arts 2014 will be displayed in NGV Studio, the Gallery’s popular and dynamic contemporary art space at NGV Australia at Federation Square and features folios, developmental material and preparatory work as part of the installation. StArt Up: Top Arts 2014 presents the work of our freshest and most inspiring young artists and builds on a well-earned reputation for being one of the liveliest and most visited exhibitions on the NGV calendar.
A range of informative and interactive programs will run throughout StArt Up: Top Arts 2014, including introductory talks by exhibiting artists and student and teacher professional learning programs.
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It was my aim to create aesthetically-pleasing art, with a focus on installation. Although a work focusing on aesthetics may seem superficial, I believe that the aesthetic quality of art satisfies the desire for beauty within the human soul. These post-modern origami forms create completely interpretive shapes through their textured ridges and layering and an overall rounded nature, thus seeming somewhat industrial or man-made with a sense of the organic. Their neutral shades of white emit a sense of aesthetic pleasure through utter simplicity.
Never get set on an idea too early. Flesh your thoughts out and explore what other artists are doing in your line of work. The inspiration and influence is what matters. Also realise that your duty to create awe-inspiring art isn’t just to yourselves as artists, but more so to an audience that wants to be satisfied and inspired.
This series of photos aims to communicate key aspects of the relationship between humans and animals. Each of the five photos is intended to represent a different aspect of our interactions. In order to display the depth of this complex relationship, in a simple way, the text on each photo sums up this relationship in a simple and blunt manner. The presentation of the photos on wood is significant, as the wood is a natural material and as such, can symbolise the link between humans and animals.
Without a doubt the most important thing is to choose a theme that you don’t just like, but love. I can’t stress this enough! Once you find this perfect theme (it’s out there) you will be motivated to explore ideas, work hard, experiment thoroughly, keep up to date with your folio, and enjoy it all!
As an artist this work is important and of great value to me, as it reflects the cultural significance of Samoan mythology and culture. For the viewer I hope to achieve and portray fascinating interpretations through the use of an array of shapes, lines and detailed patterns.
In any folio subject this is probably the most common advice given to students which is to not procrastinate. It is also important to explore an issue or a theme that you are passionate about, as this limits the possibility of running out of creativity and therefore staying linked to your topic. The exploration proposal will become your best friend, so it’s vital that you use it to the best of your ability as it can reiterate what you are exploring and it can also bounce off new ideas if you do have a blank mind or have run out of ideas. Finally my last advice would be to explore, and to not be afraid of what your work looks like. I was a bit of a perfectionist at the beginning of the year however that did not help me as it restricted me from being innovative. You will find a lot more the more free you are with exploration and in turn the quicker the pages will fill up in your folio.
Humankind’s evolution into a race that uses death, destruction and oppression to satisfy our selfish desires, has been softened by religion’s peaceful guidelines. Yet our violent traits are amplified in this all powerful God, who has committed heinous action before, and vowed to do again. The Four Horsemen represent His capability to torture and destroy through Conquest, War, Famine and Death; elements we as humans, are all but too familiar with.
The best thing you can do is find something to explore in your work that you are fascinated by. If you can do that, and plan ahead in terms of where you want to end up and when by, you’ll replace stress you would otherwise experience with enjoyment, thus heightening your dedication to succeed.
This is not a narrative. Figures twist, tumble, appear and disappear; dense forms grow and shrink in fluid scenes that conjure a surreal world. I wanted to explore the idiosyncrasies and contradictions of my indecisive character, with the medium being intrinsic to the meaning of the work: the unpredictability of the animation parallels my uncertain sense of self. Musicians Annie Leung and Anna Xue composed the accompanying music.
The creative process can be quite solitary, but try and support your fellow art-making friends as much as possible. There is so much you can learn from each other, and there is nothing more enriching than being in a class where the approach is one of collaboration opposed to competition
This work explores introversion and imagination and how these two qualities are linked. The first drawing depicts a girl submerged in water signifying her isolation. The white on black components of the image represent her imaginary world. The realm of the imagination is key to the drawing. What links my three introverted characters is the compensating world of the imagination which provides a “world elsewhere” into which they can escape.
My advice is to work as hard as you can at your art. Let your creativity run free. Don’t be afraid to use unconventional materials or to explore unusual ideas. Dedicate yourself to your art completely.
Masking is often by choice, however others do not have a say. We come across masking in our everyday life, in some cases it is obvious and others it is hidden. Masking can range from something depicted on the surface to something obscured inside, behind a shield. It can be something emotional, psychological, physical or cultural. In this work, the human face is shown as entrapped and compressed, using the ribbon as a tool to wrap the face and squeeze it; showing what this feeling looks like physically. I hoped to produce a captivating, inspiring work, which displays the natural, emotional, and disguised aspects of masking, and highlights the ways in which people in our current world mask themselves.
Don’t give up! In the end hard work pays off and completing something you are proud of is the best feeling. Work hard and keep picturing what you want the end result to look like. You will be more disappointed knowing you could’ve done better than actually putting in your best effort at the time.
Music. At times, it may seem like a grand explosion of chords from a team of instruments, and at other times it may just be a simple progression of solo notes. But nevertheless, they each will somehow combine to create something slightly magical to the listener. It’s a perfect balance of emotion, spontaneity and precision. And that’s what I anticipate to recreate. In “Symphony Series”, I intend to recapture the essence of such classical music through variety of lines, colour and texture working together to bring alive the impression of music.
Have fun with your work. Studio Arts is a subject where you can truly create anything you desire. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new materials and techniques you have not used in past years, because regardless of whether they work out or not, you will always learn something new from it.
Liquid Form captures the behaviour of paint as it disperses in water; an insight into a complex, fleeting form which we rarely get a chance to see. The dynamic, moving forms become four-dimensional; dependent also on time, and can be viewed in their entirety, or their detail can be examined as small nuances and complexities, allowing to gain a new perspective on form in all aspects of the world around us.
Push yourself to explore your theme beyond just a surface level, be as out there as you want and have fun. Don’t neglect your folio either, writing in depth about the things you like and don’t like about your work will not only get you a good grade but will help develop your ideas and extend your thinking, hopefully enabling you to create better and better art.
Perhaps villains, such as Medusa, are simply misunderstood. Through Medusa’s transition depicted on these canvases, one can observe the Menace of the curse, the Malice of Medusa’s rage, and the Mania experienced by her at the end as she decides to take revenge. One witnesses the villain turning into the victim.
When deciding on your theme, be sure you have an immense passion for it. From passion comes inspiration and the will to keep going with your artwork. It means that you will enjoy every second of making your theme come to life, which makes the long hours and late nights worth it.
Our world is inhabited by a vast number of different types of people and this year, I was particularly interested in capturing men in their work environments. The men depicted in my photos seem to have been engaged in their jobs for many years, so much so that they themselves have become part of their surroundings. The photographs capture a lone, older man in his place of work, whereby his body language, facial expressions and overall setting all play a significant role in communicating the idea of people, in particular, men at work.
Firstly, I would say that the most important thing is to work consistently throughout the year, and to see Studio Arts as a hobby as well as a subject. It is important to understand that a lot of work is required. I found that I needed to be passionate about what I was I capturing and fully committed. Don’t rely on someone else’s idea, such as an artist, teacher or friend; you must explore, delve and develop the idea so that you can confidently say it is your own. Finally, I would say never give up. If something doesn’t work out as you had hoped, often the idea can be improved and can turn out better than expected.
Vertical blinds are a standard household item; I re-interpreted this everyday article when I applied an unrelated image to the blades. The choice of showing aged skin is central to this work, I enlarged stretched and physically manipulated an image of my grandmother’s skin. The skin has a very detailed texture which only comes with age and represents the long personal history of the subject. The skin sags and stretches in ways which are not often on display in public, and I have orientated the image contrary to gravity. I want people to wonder which part of the body they are viewing, if it’s an appropriate image of the body and for the viewer to be momentarily uncomfortable. I believe the image is honest, intimate and possibly confronting. The blind must be viewed from both sides and at all intermittent positions during rotation, there are discoveries to be made.
Art is a discovery process, be open to it.
I wanted to evoke a sense of awe and appreciation of the intricate and exacting of animal markings, features and coats that are often overlooked by the viewer. Exploring and immersing myself in the meticulous and magnified characteristics of animal features I aimed to portray and highlight the animal’s liveliness, curiosity, wonder and beauty. Through linocut technique and process I was able to display a realistic and parallel connection between an animal’s beauty and the human eye.
Be passionate, consistent and dedicated to the theme you have chosen and always trust in your abilities no matter how many setbacks. Art is about expression, whether it is in the smallest or purest form, it tells a tale from deep within you and evokes freedom and encourages imagination.
My work depicts some of the scenery I came across while travelling through Cambodia. There I saw the resilience and warmth of a people, in spite of their recent distressing history that has resulted in extreme poverty and indifference. I was impressed by their people and their continuous efforts to preserve their culture.
Finding a strong emotional relation to the work you produce is essential in creating an emotive response from the people who see it. In addition to this, it really motivated me to finish the artwork.
The journey that I have pursued throughout the process of my work has been a challenging yet rewarding one. The subject matter is based around the concept of individuality and coming together as one in unity. It is evident that each tea bag has a distinctive uniqueness which highlights characteristics of individuality. With this being said, I have implemented the use of tea bags as a symbol of humanity, as each of us have the same ‘guts’ yet have completely different characteristics.
When you are feeling down and want to ’throw in the towel’ – Don’t. Take a break and take some time to ‘smell the flowers’ and then give it another shot.
My work is a reflection of myself and how I have compromised my own identity for the sake of others. I was never true to myself and I was never genuinely happy, nobody knew who I really was. From this I have learned that everybody should embrace who they are, as we are all wonderfully constructed individuals. Be true to yourself, embrace your identity but most importantly be happy with who you are and love yourself.
It’s important to be who you are and embrace your passion. You shouldn’t let anybody get in the way of what you believe in and what you love to do. Always be persistent and don’t give up.
My folio dealt with exploring the intrinsic connection we have to nature and our recurrent relationship with the natural world around us. For example, the way the mind flows with its thoughts, is much like the vast sea constantly moving with its ebb and flow. Or the way dreams allow us endless freedom to explore and experience our senses. I have tried to communicate the relationships between the human condition and nature by exploring certain aspects of nature — the sea, the sky, the swan and the butterfly.
Make sure you enter Studio 3 / 4 with an idea and theme that’s quite broad so that in turn you can explore a lot of pathways. If your theme is broad it allows you to redirect your ideas if necessary. Also, make sure you love your idea, because you have to commit to it with your all.
The ideas behind Buddhist meditation inspired me to paint 4D7. The painting consists of a continuous flow of layered imagery forming a stream of consciousness, where the past, present and future co-exist at the same moment. The compositional technique is like writing, moving from left to right, and the images primarily overlap this way. This overlapping fashion is due to the order in which I painted this artwork, where my train of thought started in the red and developed progressively through black over to the blue. These transformations are, to me, reminiscent of the slow fades in cinema, which always tend to signify transition in time. Also the linearity of the piece is like the strip of film.
Start your final artwork as soon as possible and don’t be fooled into thinking you have the same amount of time for SAT 2 as SAT1. I would also suggest typing your closing statements as you can perfect and edit them. Keep your options open with your potential directions from SAT1. I had around 25 potential directions, having this many gives you a lot to write about as to how you combined and discarded ideas for your finals.
My piece is a 595 can circular pyramid, with the theme of consumerism. The tower is supposed to overwhelm the viewer with the thought of greed and the unnecessary consumption of products. The television show Mad Men inspired the 50s theme to the piece, and my artistic style of appropriation influenced my use of the Campbell’s soup can theme, as well as the fact that the Campbell’s soup motif has been influential in the art world.
Don’t feel like anything is unachievable, there will always be people out there who will help you, just ask.
This work focuses upon the repetitive cycle of life and death, and the inevitability that, where life is, death will eventually follow. The series traces a progression from the beginning of life through to the acceptance of death together with concepts related to the infinity and reoccurrence of this universal certainty.
Don’t be discouraged when you find yourself stuck for ideas. If you take a step back for a while, your mind will (hopefully) come across a solution. Also, your teachers are your best friends, and can give you a new perspective from which to approach your work.
The intention of this work was to prompt the viewer to question their individuality and the formation of their identity within the context of a wider society. From this work the viewer can gain a perspective of themselves as an individual, but also as a member of a crowd. In this way they can consider how they define themselves as an individual and discover what makes them unique.
I would advise future students to be as organised as possible. This will enable them to thoroughly develop their ideas and techniques as well as create a final product that is well thought out and skilfully executed. It will also help to reduce the stress of a busy Year 12. I would also like to encourage students to look within themselves and draw inspiration from their personal experiences so as to enhance the messages that they present in their work.
The concept of this series was to explore my central theme of portraiture through using the human face as a canvas, focusing on the way texture and shadow can be created when using the facial features as a base. The simplistic usage of minimal colour in the images as well as the plain black frame and white mount board allow the image and presentation to complement each other without distracting from the subject matter and composition.
Maintain a good momentum throughout the year regarding your folio work and potential directions, and always aim to be one step ahead of your schedule. Make sure you push yourself to work on an idea until it is perfect, so that you can’t look back and think that you could have done more.
Who is to say what you see in front of you is not real? Believe it if you choose. This is a homage to my great grandfather Thomas Murphy. A proud Dubliner, an Able Seaman, a man recognised only to the British Mercantile Navy as 45816. There is always more to a face then meets the eye. Look into his eyes and believe his story.
Be meticulous when deciding upon your theme. You’ll spend your whole year using this as a basis for your work, so decide upon one that you enjoy and also one that allows for significant exploration. Also don’t be afraid to try something outside the box, especially if you believe it holds potential for beauty.
I appear missing is the first of four panels in this work. The panel shown here is the incomplete 27-layer version that is inspired by the idea that people have different levels of vulnerability and each person responds differently to pain and sorrow. Kalie Garrett’s use of expression and honesty in her photos heavily influenced my art, as did the song I Appear Missing (Queens of the Stone Age)
To other students undertaking VCE Art and VCE Studio Arts remember time is your enemy. Remember to work consistently throughout the year and plan. Try and balance all aspects of the course; theory, folio and the artworks, don’t leave anything till the last minute. Talk to teachers, students, family and friends for new ideas and their opinions on the work. This can bring new directions and open you up to seeing other aspects of your work.
My work consists of a recessed wooden frame containing a radial design of swarming bamboo cicadas carved using a laser-cutter. The bugs are held in place with thin nails to project shadows on the ply board. This work was an exploration of the details intricacies in nature which often go unnoticed and unappreciated.
I think the most important thing is to love what you’re doing. Art should be fun and exciting and a break from your other subjects, not a chore. Enjoy it.
midnightRUN is a work of fiction presented as a black and white, 208 page graphic novel. It follows the character Jamie Matheson and the events surrounding a handful of street gangs made up of the homeless. This work was originally intended to explore human nature and to be a light-hearted short story but took on a much grimmer tone than originally intended.
Pick a theme and subject matter that interests you – it will make your experience a whole lot easier and more rewarding! Also, prepare a realistic work schedule and stick to it as best as you can.
This self-portrait represents the meaning of why photos are posted on social media. In my generation it seems essential to have your photos approved of by your peers, or ‘Facebook friends’. I used my face as I know I am also part of this phenomena and regardless of how critical I am of the idea, I am still preoccupied with how many likes, followers or friends I have on social media.
My advice for future students is simple: explore. Exploring is what made me really enjoy and experience new materials and techniques. This kept it always interesting with whatever I was creating. I’d also stress the importance of choosing a theme that you can relate to.
Movement focuses on three concepts: energy, time and space. Being interested in the power and force an action can exert, how humans have the ability to slow down and quicken actions, and the capturing of humans completing mundane activities in an “unlimited three-dimensional expanse” (Collins), this artwork was created. It is intriguing to consider how humans live on the basis of time and how without it humans would be extremely disoriented. Following this I was particularly interested in the expansion of human movement, which is clearly portrayed in my work.
The three photographs of a cropped arm are printed on separate layers of sheer fabric so that when the images are assembled 15cm apart, both depth and movement are achieved. This work aims to portray a soft and natural aesthetic through the tone and colour scheme, which is minimal. This way the movement is dominant and the viewer is able to clearly focus on the motion of the arm.
I feel that this work, and the ideas that support it, effectively explore and portray movement through the overlay of images to create motion and the presentation of the three layers, creating depth.
My advice for future students would be to choose a theme that you are either really interested in or passionate about. Also create a weekly planner and stick to it.
I chose to explore the theme ‘happiness’, and more specifically the way in which happiness is contagious. I can’t help but smile when I see someone with an expression of joy. I wanted people to smile at my work and briefly share the subject’s happiness. The large scale of the work creates visual impact, capturing the audience’s attention, and the loose lines of the work reflect the carefree nature associated with happiness.
Choose a theme that excites you and has multiple aspects to it, also choose a medium you enjoy using and feel comfortable with, but don’t be afraid to push yourself and take risks. Annotate your folio work as you go so it is still fresh in your mind, and stick to your timeline.
My art seeks to explore the human condition, how people grapple with their own interpretations of reality and how evolution drives man’s underlying ‘animal’. It is my passion for these concepts, and exploring their raw, sexual, dark and physical nature which underpins my work. I use photo-manipulated male figures to create visual representations of these ideas; in this case, male evolution and genesis re-imagined in a modern biological context.
Do not be afraid of daring art. The beauty of art is that it allows you to boldly state something, and discover yourself at the same time. Fear of negative response is the death of good art. Art should elicit a reaction, but prepare to justify yourself.
My art has been heavily influenced by the recent loss of two beloved grandfathers. Family history resonates throughout my work, as well as inspiration from contemporary artists, in particular William Kentridge and Regina Pessoa.
I am fascinated by the way film has multiple dimensions and ability to explore time, motion, sequence and sound in various capacities. My primary intention was to take the viewer on an emotional journey.
Year 12 seems like the end of the world sometimes if you’re like me a super worrywart and someone who gets hurt very easily. If the going gets tough, try to think about the bright side and schedule, schedule, SCHEDULE! Being organized can keep you focused and on the right track. My Pa used to say “Nothing is as bad as it seems” and know that sounds a bit corny but you will soon find yourself on the other side of Year 12, finished and satisfied. I kept thinking of this place – the part of your life when you’re in limbo between school and university or where ever you’re heading. Having no commitments and your own time to do what you want, when you want.
You get to choose where you are going so be confident and strive farther.
“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Aristotle
A love and passion for music was my initial inspiration for the theme in my works. I was told to choose something that I could put my heart into, as that was the way to great art, so music was the obvious choice. Made using colour pastels, these works are intended to illustrate how the age of the instrument does not alter the quality and beauty of the music it creates.
My advice for students going into or that have started Units 3/4 Studio Art is to be patient, but not lazy. You can’t afford to take your time with this, or leave it until the last minute. You have to work diligently and constantly. Be a perfectionist. Don’t stress about it, but do the best you can do. That way, even if you don’t get the mark for it that you’d like in the end, you can still be happy that you did the best you could.
Fashion, personal appearance and lifestyle choices influence your thoughts, confidence and behaviour; without these, individuality wouldn’t exist. My photos portray the uniqueness of Muska in different contexts focussing on the way he presents himself to give insight to him both physically, and emotionally. This links back to my main idea of ‘The Colourless Chameleon.’ A chameleon changes and adapts itself to suit their environment or emotional state at that time.
For future students, all I can say is that without hard work and determination, you won’t achieve your personal best or receive the benefits. There will be times where you will have to sacrifice time or fun, but it is completely worth it when you finally complete your folio subject.
I wanted to capture the beauty and the fierce nature of cars. Their highly polished painted bodies are symbolic of the reflection and purity of the natural elements that surround them. These inkjet print images emphasise the metallic paint and the reflective surfaces on cars. I took the images from different angles to highlight the fine detailing and streamline qualities of the cars.
If there was one thing I learnt last year, it was to never give up or lose faith in your work. Too often I would find myself throwing artwork away that I didn’t like or didn’t think was good enough to put in my folio. Just keep going with it. Try not to doubt yourself or your abilities because it could be the difference between achieving something good or achieving something amazing. Don’t be afraid to colour outside the lines a little either. I found it so much easier to keep an open mind and explore broad concepts throughout the year, rather than restricting myself to a particular theme. Take plenty of photos of anything and everything. It’s good to have a continuous source of inspiration and ideas that you can always refer back to.
Finally, remember to have fun! Doing a folio subject can sometimes become very stressful and overwhelming, especially if you decide to do two, as I did. Just try to maintain a positive outlook and take each step at a time. The final product is well worth it and so rewarding in the end.
My series of sculptures represents my ideas about the interesting things that can be invented by the mind. I have focused on complex abstract shapes, each built from hundreds of layers of acrylic. This forms the smooth exterior of the shapes, and visually contrasts with the hard edges within the form. The aim of this collection is to demonstrate my ability to present my ideas in the most original and unique way.
If you have a great idea, chase it, and make it happen, even if it seems impossible. Believe in your own ability and never give up. Manage your time wisely and make sure to finish everything well before your deadlines, working overtime is not fun. Good luck.
Nevo is a mixed media portrait series which focuses on gender and its performative nature. Using ballpoint pen and watercolour paint the series aims to present the ways in which Nevo, who is currently undergoing a gender transition, ‘performs’ to communicate his preferred pronouns, minimise his dysphoria, and navigate the gendered society we live in.
Choose to focus on something that interests you, will provide a challenge and tackle it in the most creative way possible. Use media and materials you’re not so confident with and learn to use those you are confident with in new or unconventional ways. Expand your mind and abilities; push yourself as far as possible.
Tea Time at the Edge of Madness reflects the inexplicable nature of insanity and nonsense, the idea of external presence versus internal deliberation and the interplay between the light-hearted exterior and the underlying conflict that lies beneath. The characters are juxtaposed against both one another and their environment. Each element simultaneously at home amid the absurdity and yet all at once out of place. What’s really going on? You decide.
I know it sounds corny but don’t give up- at the same time don’t have unrealistic goals. Know what you can accomplish already and aim that little bit higher. Push yourself but don’t think you’re going to magically become Picasso overnight. Unless you do, in which case that’s pretty cool!
I am often away from most of my family and this experience inspired me to want to portray a family member close to me from my perspective. These prints are to remind myself of how loving, caring, funny and great my Dad is and to express my appreciation and love for him and my family.
Trust your instincts and do what you are really interested in but don’t be locked in with what you do and be open about advice, suggestions and new ideas.
This work aims to express strong feelings of anger and conflict within not only the subject of the photographs but within youth as a whole. Evolving out of my central theme of my generation getting lost in a world of technology and social media, I intended to demonstrate the hardship we face in creating our identities both online and in real life. Working in a triptych format, as inspired by Francis Bacon, allowed me to create a fluid piece with several depictions of emotion.
Create something that you enjoy and genuinely believe in and be prepared for hours and hours of work towards this art work. Be confident in what you are doing and listen to advice from your teachers and friends. Never, ever fall behind on folio work.
My almost life-sized linocut ‘αυτοπροσωπογραφία’ (Greek for self-portrait) pushes the boundaries of what is possible. Being a single piece of linoleum made it awkward to cut, and when it came to printing, there were times when it just seemed impossible. However I pushed through and created this appropriated work of Thomas Eakin’s The Thinker: Portrait of Louis N. Kenton.
My advice for any future students is to believe anything is possible, be ambitious and challenge yourself. I did, and produced an almost life-sized linocut in about 4 months.
This image aims to represent someone in a deep state of tranquility, giving a literal sense to the idea that one is “floating” or can’t feel their limbs due to extreme relaxation. The bag on the subject’s head depersonalises the subject making their position and the work more open to interpretation by the viewer.
Use your time wisely, it slips away. Take a moment to think about your theme and what you are trying to say. Think about what you want your works to look like. If you are having trouble starting, just start with anything, something, somewhere.
Initially, I was drawn to the excitement and energy of circus performers and the bright bold colours of circus costumes. As I explored this subject further, I discovered a sombre truth behind the elaborate masks. My work aims to expose the harshness and real impact of spending a lifetime in the circus.
Be organised, have a clear schedule/timeline to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the workload. Visit exhibitions – this is what informs your own art practice. Work on your strengths, but do not limit yourself to working in one medium.
Agenda is a series that examines the constraints of sexual category, the complex relationship between masculinity and femininity and the portrayal of aesthetics in personal identity. Questioning the beauty, sensitivity, aggression, confidence, disconnection and passion that lie within both the sexes, viewers are inevitably and immediately drawn to wonder about the ‘real’ or ‘true’ gender of each subject. This immediate reaction highlights our entrenched ideals that we must be one gender or the other and that the social expectations of gender defines both our internal and external self. As viewers continue to try to ‘solve’ the gender puzzle presented within each image, the series attempts to lead them to consider the masculine and feminine aspects of their own identity, to solve their own puzzle about the qualities, attributes and behaviour they disguise or celebrate because of social expectations, gender ‘norms’ and institutionalized ideals.
Immerse, push and believe in art and most importantly, yourself. Have passion and determination but remember that it is okay if your idea doesn’t work out how you first imagined it should. It could be even better, if not, keep trying. Be open to be inspired from new and unexpected places and never be afraid to ask for help or seek advice. Most importantly, take yourself seriously, be completely unapologetic and fearless in your convictions and ideas, don’t be afraid to the push boundaries, and make it count.
What makes a person hold on to a certain place? Is it the people they meet there? The sights they see? How is it that experiences mould an individual’s identity, their perceptions of self and of the world?
This artwork, inspired by the rich and changing landscape of Japan, endeavours to depict my own journey of discovery through a six month exchange. It portrays the numerous layers within the society and how, through the eyes of a young adult, these aspects of life can be perceived as utterly divergent and captivating.
Studio Arts, although commonly perceived as tedious and time consuming, provided me a gateway for creativity and open-mindedness, which was absent within other VCE subjects. I have learned through my own endeavours, that organisation, along with a budding innovative mind, is key to achieving success within art subjects. In order to meet deadlines, create charts, tables or lists to keep you on track and in front, especially for folio work. In doing this you will alleviate further unwanted stress and remain positive about your artwork’s creation. I would also highly recommend communicating regularly with your teacher and fellow students to receive alternative feedback and new ideas to guide your own.
However, most importantly, remember to enjoy what you are doing and the journey of constructing an work of art which reflects your own individual thoughts.
The drawings address the issue of gender identity in youth. The subjects have hair atypical of respective genders. They are composed so the distinction between each gender is subtle and blurred. Contrary to traditional portraiture depicting facial features the decision to draw the back of the head presented in a circular mount surround is intended to convey the idea of voyeurism, in which the viewer can see the subject but the subject is ignorant of the viewer.
Choose something you’re really interested in to focus on, it’ll make it a lot easier. And you don’t have to pursue everything you start, throw stuff away until you have the best and most refined idea/piece.
My multimedia work of Shivering Human was a documentation of my performance. Each element of the performance is a representation of the journey to reaching limitless possibilities. The act of pulling represents the struggles and challenges required to go beyond others. The box represents our restraints and the burning represents us fighting against our restraints to reach beyond our boundaries.
As soon as you need it, seek help as much as you can. To create an artwork that you can be completely satisfied with, you need to explore and experiment as much as possible – try everything. Everyone’s opinions are also helpful and they allow you to think of more ideas.
My key message is the awareness that, as a society, we stereotype and label both ourselves and each other by what we wear. I see this happen constantly and it disgusts me. Each individual’s personality should be considered before their appearance. Through the use and consistent application of grey lead pencils and multiple figures, representing different age groups and attire, the work depicts the persistence of stereotyping and labelling of individuals.
Plan ahead and stay on that plan. I decided to create firm deadlines ensuring I got two figures finished per week. This worked well for me and reduced anxiety and stress. Also listen to and work in conjunction with your teacher at all times. Their critical feedback is crucial for success.
The idea behind my work was to create a surreal idyllic landscape of a field of flowers that is made up from using repeated images of the female human form. Through studying pictures of fields of flowers for inspiration, I created a series of different types of flowers that are each unique in terms of shape, size and colour. I wanted to produce a piece that is more than what meets the eye whilst trying to illustrate my ongoing theme of pattern and repetition.
For students who are wishing to do Studio Arts, the advice I would give is to choose a broad theme that has a wide scope so you are able to brainstorm and trial different ideas which will then help narrow your approach after you have seen what did and didn’t work well. Make sure you keep reminding yourself of what your theme is, so that you don’t drift away from what you are trying to illustrate. I would also say to listen to your teacher’s advice, use them as a resource to help you further your ideas because they are there to help you.
Clouds will always swirl and billow and change and things will grow and die in the ever-moving moments in time. If the viewer should become detached from their own reality and lose themselves in my work, even for a moment, then I have succeeded in my intentions. This wordless story draws upon what it means to be both young and old, to be lost and find freedom, to end at the beginning, and that when considering life and death, nothing is permanent in this world. It is both joyous and sad that time will pass and nothing will last.
Art is about being creative and using our imagination, so let this passion for creativity keep you motivated. To do this, make sure you decide on a theme which allows you to draw on as many different influences and ideas as possible, to keep that creativity flowing throughout the year.
Danny Abdulahad, St Albans Secondary College, St Albans
Phoebe Arvanitis, Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak
Lauren Bartlett – Bragg, Firbank Grammar School, Brighton
Tegan Bell, Loreto College Ballarat, Ballarat
Sarah Beyer, Lavalla Catholic College, Traralgon
Lucy Boehme, Woodleigh School, Baxter
Sam Brett, Mt Eliza Secondary College, Mt Eliza
Lauren Broide, Star of the Sea College, Brighton
Stephanie Burns, Melbourne Girls’ College, Richmond
Ashleigh Buultjens, St Monica’s College, Epping
Amy Chen, Lauriston Girls’ School, Armadale
Georgia Lee Chiarella, Mount Saint Joseph Girls’ College, Altona
Vanessa Clothier, St Columba’s College, Essendon
Candy Cooper, Caulfield Grammar School, St Kilda East
Hannah Costello, Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak
Mitchell Crameri, Brighton Grammar School, Brighton
Rachelle Criticos, Avila College, Mt Waverley
Nanami Dade, Newhaven College, Newhaven
Lucy Davidson, Genazzano FCJ College, Kew
Charmaine De Lima, MacKillop Catholic College, Werribee
Helen Demetriou, Covenant College, Bell Post Hill
Hayden Farrell, St Bernard’s College, Essendon
Alessia Ferraro, St Columba’s College, Essendon
Michelle Fitz-Gerald, Glen Waverley Secondary College, Glen Waverley
Jessie Geinitz, Upwey High School, Upwey
Stella Greaves, St Leonard’s College, Brighton East
Chester Greaves, St Michael’s Grammar School, St Kilda
Ellen Hatton, Waverley Christian College, Wantirna
Thomas Hoy, St Patrick’s College, Ballarat
Alexis Infeld, Methodist Ladies College, Kew
Natasha Jovetic, Wodonga Senior Secondary College, Wodonga
Eliza Katsourakis, Williamstown High School, Williamstown
Georgie Kemshal-Bell, Beechworth Secondary School, Beechworth
Maddison Kraus, Flinders Christian Community College, Tyabb
Margot Lapalus, Girton Grammar School, Bendigo
Ashley Lark, St Leonard’s College, Brighton East
Elaine Leong, Presentation College, Windsor
Celeste Magee, MacKillop Catholic College, Werribee
Hannah Mangan, Distance Education Centre, Thornbury
Bailey Dior, McErvale Ballarat High School, Ballarat
Lauren McKay, Monbulk College, Monbulk
Greta McMillan, Lauriston Girls’ School, Armadale
Emily McNeil, Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College, Canterbury
Matthew Mickelburough, Mentone Grammar, Mentone
Sarah Moss, Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School, Canterbury
James Mulcahy, Scotch College, Hawthorn
Asha Murray, Portland Secondary College, Portland
Aviya Naccarella, Presentation College, Windsor
Chevon Oakley, Werribee Secondary College, Werribee
Rachel O’Brien, St Joseph’s College, Echuca
Margaret Olney, Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak
Madison Packer, St Leonard’s College, Brighton East
Emma Paine, Ballarat Clarendon College, Ballarat
Alexis Polidoras, Swinburne Senior Secondary College, Hawthorn
Julia Quirk, St Leonard’s College, Brighton East
Hannah Roberts, St Catherine’s School, Toorak
Sylvie Saisch, Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School, South Yarra
Johanna Schreiner, Woodleigh School, Baxter
Patricia Sofra, Notre Dame College, Shepparton
Benjamine Sourivong, Westbourne Grammar School, Truganina
Kimberley Sternfeld, Lauriston Girls’ School, Armadale
Rose Stimpson, Ballarat Grammar School, Wendouree
Alison Waskowicz, Beaconhills College, Pakenham
Joshua Woods, St Monica’s College, Epping
Jessica Yates, Firbank Grammar School, Brighton
Adriano Zarosinski, Catholic Regional College Sydenham, Sydenham