Maggie Hamilton<br/>
<em>Grit girls</em> 2016<br/>
inkjet print<br/>
29.7 x 42.0 cm (image and sheet)<br/>
St Paul's Anglican Grammar School, Warragul<br/>
© Maggie Hamilton

Top Arts 2017 | Interview with Maggie Hamilton

Maggie Hamilton
Grit girls 2016

What has the highlight been of Top Arts 2017?

The highlight has definitely been the opening night. It was so much fun dressing up and coming to see not only my work, but the rest of the exhibition too! The standard was so high and I felt proud to have my photos featured among such diverse and inspiring art. The top arts team did a great job at complimenting everyone’s work and making the exhibition look professional.

Do you plan to pursue a career in creative industries?

I’ve only just started year twelve so my career plan is up in the air but I’m definitely planning on continuing taking photos and making art.

Who are your favourite artists at the moment?

With relevance to my topic, I found Lanakila McNaughten especially inspiring. Her pictures are really aesthetically pleasing and have a vintage feel that I love. They really romanticise motorbike riding and show the diversity of the girls who do ride. I also came across Röra Blue on Instagram and instantly fell in love with her #Unsent project, where anyone can submit texts to her that they wish they could send to someone else. I think the project highlights that while it can feel like we’re alone in our feelings or circumstances, a lot of other people are experiencing similar things. Everyone craves closure but sometimes we just have to go without it, and a lot of Blue’s work shows how hard it can be to let go.

What you learnt from the process of Top Arts 2017?

Mind the cliche but the whole process has really reiterated that good things follow dedication. When I saw last years exhibition it really motivated me to work hard to get my own work on those walls and having that effort pay off was really rewarding. Having your work up for so many people to see and judge is really daunting, but ultimately it’s not about me. The goal of my work was to give female dirt bike riders more exposure and Top Arts is a great platform to get your ideas out there. Whether they’re accepted or rejected by the public is out of my hands from there, but I like to think it’ll encourage people to consider the importance of supporting women in sports.

What would you do differently if you were to do your VCE folio again?

If I was going to do my folio again I’d probably trial more techniques because it’s a great opportunity to learn new things and apply them to a topic you’re passionate about.

Have you been working on any creative projects since your work was accepted into Top Arts?

I’ve been pretty preoccupied with year twelve but I’ve got a couple of ideas I want to make use of when I get some spare time. I’m really keen on getting back into analogue photography and developing more film, and maybe doing some short films at the track.

What advice would you give students going into Year 12, in how to prepare for Art or Studio Art?

If you choose to explore things you’re passionate about, the rest will follow. It’s really as simple as that. Of course you’ve still got to put in the effort, but it doesn’t feel like a chore if it’s something you really want to do. And that way, no matter the mark at the end, you’ve still explored and achieved something really personal to you.

Do you have any reflections on your work from Year 12?

I did fall into the trap of feeling like I didn’t do enough but looking back, I put a lot of time and effort into the folio and know I did it to the best of my capability. I really enjoyed the course and wish I could do it again this year.