Top Arts 2012 – Monique Revel

I did Year 12 at CAE last year – I originally did my last year of school in the Netherlands, but it didn’t crossover to Australia so I did it again. It was really good to go back to school, to get back into essay writing and studying stuff, because I’d been away from it for around four years.

Art was pretty important to me in Year 12, I enjoyed that subject the most, I always have. It was also good for my life outside of school, having to focus on one thing when I’m usually so chaotic!

I spend a bit of time on trams and I find it really, really curious – it’s kind of a different world in there, where people isolate themselves from each other. I find it very strange. And it’s quite a curious thing, that all these people from different walks of life are crammed into one space, yet there’s little to no interaction. I thought it would be a really interesting subject to delve into, and have a bit of fun with that. So I kind of experimented around sketching on trams, and I incorporated painting. I decided I wanted to do a portrait, and then went from there.

Melburnians were my inspiration. I’m from New Zealand originally, but I’ve been here for the last four years. I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands – wood carving and stuff – so I wanted to incorporate that a bit. I suppose you could say that I took a little bit out of Impressionism and stuff, building up and taking out the paint.

Art is definitely something that I want to pursue. I’m off to Paris in a couple of months for a year. I’ve got a children’s book that I want to finish off, I’ve a whole lot of little paintings. It’s about a florist and a robot, and it’s a bit of a play on the curiosities of one observing the frailty of life, and the other just curious about how a machine can relate and feel. I’m also hoping to have an exhibition over there, I’d like to do a lot of painting. I’m just going to go and live there for a while – I think it will be really inspirational for me to be in a completely different environment. After that, I’d like to go on to do a Bachelor of Fine Arts, most likely in Melbourne.

It’s amazing to be exhibited in Top Arts 2012. I have visited the exhibition a couple of times and the calibre of work is pretty high. I didn’t even start the school year thinking that I’d apply for Top Arts 2012. But to get the opportunity to even submit my work and get into it, it’s just incredible – one, that I can exhibit my art to the public; and two, the fact that is going to look great when I apply for universities. And I’m going to be down the hall from some incredible artists!

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