Students make their artistic mark in ARTEXPRESS 2018

Wall wonder: Menai High School graduate Louise Wise.
Wall wonder: Menai High School graduate Louise Wise.

Masterpieces created by talented art students is again on display in the annual ARTEXPRESS exhibition.

Exploring the surreal: Louise Wise's creation.

Exploring the surreal: Louise Wise's creation.

Two of the 40 students featured in the exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW have been selected for their artistic prowess. 

ARTEXPRESS is the most popular exhibition of the year at the gallery.

Family links: Light and shadow by Maddison Laura Grounds

Family links: Light and shadow by Maddison Laura Grounds

It showcases the most outstanding talent from year 12 students of the HSC Visual Arts examination in 2017.

Impressive: Reflections of my Father by David Welch

Impressive: Reflections of my Father by David Welch

The exhibition spans ceramics, collection of works, documented forms, drawing, designed objects, graphic design, painting, photo media, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and fibre, and time-based forms.

Pieces explore social and political matters, as well as Australian cultural identity and mixed cultural heritage, environmental concerns and waste management, social media phenomena, the refugee crisis and gentrification.

Louise Wise of Menai High School and Maddison Laura Grounds of Woolooware High School were picked from 9097 students from schools across NSW.

Influenced by Australian graphic artist Shaun Tan, Louise impressed judges with her graphic design entry, Curioser and Curiouser.

She was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and a love of cartoons and picture books.

“I wanted my body of work to illustrate a simple story where a catalyst motivates the protagonist through a journey,” she said.

“I worked with a graphics tablet and digital medium to explore a human being’s natural curiosity.

“Setting is a key feature in my work, with the character finding herself in surreal landscapes.

“Through the character’s journey I explored the notion of curiosity, and how it leads to new experiences in the world.”

Maddison’s drawing, titled Ties, was influenced by artists Daniel Garcia and Luisi Mera.

“My body of work explores the diversity of family members from both my mother’s and father’s side,” she said.

“I worked with different angles of light and shadow, simultaneously creating a mystery about each character and an expression of identity.

“I believe I am the root that brings this clash of culture and diversity together.”

Exhibition curator Leeanne Carr said the exhibition embodies the spirit of the younger generation.

“It offers a timely snapshot of the overlapping curiosities, passions and concerns occupying the minds of young Australians,” she said.

“I am consistently impressed by each student’s maturity and depth of thinking but also their confidence to experiment with new and innovative techniques.”

“[ARTEXPRESS] is a celebration of the power of art to connect communities and engage audiences of all ages,” gallery director Michael Brand said.

“Its popularity is testament to the public’s appetite for art created by our own talented community of young thinkers and makers.”

Department of Education Secretary Mark Scott says that ARTEXPRESS these students are an inspiration to up-and-coming art students.

“It is a tribute to the creativity, ingenuity, imagination and flair of our emerging young artists and the guidance and motivation provided by dedicated art teachers in our public schools,” he said.

“ARTEXPRESS is used by many schools to encourage art students as they prepare for the HSC and show them the amazing standards that our student artists achieve.”

Several St George and Sutherland Shire graduates were also chosen to feature their work from February 16 at other regional galleries including at Hazelhurst Gallery, Gymea.

They are:

  • Sydney Soames of Cronulla High School (Detritus: We Are But Temporary Madness on Repeat; time-based forms) 
  • Gabrielle Isgro-Rarp of Lucas Heights Community School (Circle of My Zodiac; drawing)
  • Adam Douglas of Menai High School (Studio; painting)
  • Nieminy Nian of St George Girls High (Mongolia: The Art of Living; painting)
  • Anyong Liu of Sydney Technical High School (Separate Lives; painting)
  • Mitchell Williams of Sylvania High School (Cognisance; drawing) 
  • Charlotte English-White of Sylvania High School (Contradictions; drawing)
  • Kelsey Pulbrook of The Jannali High School (Ephemera; painting)
  • Georgia Holden of Woolooware High School (Autumn Rhythm; photomedia)
  • David Welch of St Patrick’s College Sutherland (Reflections of my Father; painting)
  • Julia Zubonja of St Ursula's College Kingsgrove (Sentient Beings; drawing)
  • Beniamino John Lopez of Marist College Kogarah (Shade of me; printmaking)