Jade Lew with her works <em>Kid’s backpack</em> and <em>Small purse</em><br/>

Top Arts 2012 – Jade Lew

I did Year 12 at Mentone Girls’ Secondary College. I loved Year 12 – it was a lot of hard work, some weeks I barely slept! I had three folio subjects and they were all due around the same time. It was good at the end to see how much I’d achieved.

For Art, I started out with the theme of ‘dreams and imagination.’ I was really lost – I had no idea what I was doing, so I just picked that theme even though I didn’t really like it. Then my teacher showed me some paper art and I thought it was really cool, so I developed some paper ideas. I had worked with paper before, but not like this – not replicating things. I initially made altered books, little miniature worlds out of books with paper. I’d have a book, and then I’d make a little couch and coffee table, furniture and that sort of thing. But I didn’t think it conveyed my message of ‘dreams and imagination.’ I’m not really sure how it started, but one day in class I just made a paper pen that I thought was cool, and I just went from there.

My worked ended up being a bit of everything: exploring what people have in their bags, how they relate to things – you know, everyone has an iPhone, but mine is personal to me. I was interested in how people personalise their everyday objects. Some of the bags were ones I made up – I’d make up a character and picture what they would bring with them. Some of the others… well, I did empty my Mum’s bag and see what she had in it!

I’ve always loved art, drawing and making things, but I think my passion is fashion design. This year, I’ll be doing fashion design at RMIT.

Every year, Mentone Girls’ does an excursion to Top Arts, so I’ve been a few times. Last year, me and my friend looked at the works and were just blown away by how much effort went into them. We thought to ourselves, ‘We can’t do that, it’s impossible!’ To think that I actually did it is pretty incredible.

See Jade’s work in Top Arts 2012 at NGV Australia open until 15 July 2012.