ARTEXPRESS 2019 at the Art Gallery of NSW and Hazelhurst Gallery Gymea

Two students have secured coveted positions on the walls of Art Gallery NSW in the annual ARTEXPRESS exhibition, and more will grace gallery walls closer to home. 

Aquinas Catholic College graduate Tiana Harb and Emily Hunter of Menai High School were selected for the prestigious showcase at Art Gallery of NSW.

Their pieces join 54 other impressive projects created by HSC visual arts students from 2018, in what is one of the most popular exhibitions of the year at the gallery.

A total of 8770 entries were submitted for the exhibition, from schools across metropolitan and regional NSW

Expressive art forms including sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking, textile and fibre, graphic design and photomedia will impress.

Students have connected their art to a wide range of topics – gender, diversity, mental health and well-being, the importance of family, the environment and the effect of technology. 

Ms Harb’s drawing Intangible Agony represents a cathartic response to mental discomfort.

“The work presents the asphyxiating nature of repressed emotional torment,” she said.

“Most importantly it makes the audience confront the responsibility they have to reconsider their views after experiencing the human figure in its most vulnerable form.”

The high school graduate was also the recipient of the Julian Ashton summer scholarship and has the chance to attend the University of Arts in London to study fine arts.​

Ms Hunter’s print Songlines, explores the inter-generational connection between people and land.

“Simple lines etched into zinc plates reveal the faces of my father, grandmother, grandfather and great-grandmother,” she said.

Art Gallery of NSW curator of ARTEXPRESS, Louise Halpin, says an additional element of ARTEXPRESS this year reinforces best practice in terms of developing ideas into art forms. 

“Reflecting the exhibition’s strong focus this year on visual arts process and practice, the gallery will display objects and diaries of some of the artists in our collection, alongside student works,” she said. 

“These objects and diaries are from our National Art Archive, the country’s largest artist archive.”

Other students are also shining at the ARTEXPRESS exhibition at Hazelhurst Gallery, Gymea, which is on display until April 22.

Tamsyn Lamond of Yarrawarrah created The Ladies Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, which focuses on the representation of female stereotypes.

The vintage stylised portraits have been paired with quotes, and aim showcase how societal expectations of female roles from the 1950s can still be prevalent in the modern world.

“Even though we have come so far, this shows the other side, for example how motherhood expectations remain much the same,” Ms Lamond said. 

See ARTEXPRESS at Hazelhurst Gymea until April 22 and at the Art Gallery of NSW until April 25.


  • In her drawing Equus et chorum, Ashley Yeats of Woolooware High School explores the relationship between a horse and its rider. 
  • Chinese student Helen Zhu of Kirrawee High School painted Bloodline, which was inspired by her family’s adjustments to a different culture. 
  • Imogen Rose Gribble of Caringbah High School created Enlightenment, a drawing influenced by her grandfather’s stories. 
  • Iris Li of St Ursula's College is the name behind Cultural Metamorphosis, which explores the expansion and growth of multiculturalism in Australia. 
  • Jamie Wong of Beverly Hills Girls High School was chosen for the work, Unnatural Selection, a sculpture that draws on endangered birds.
  • Joon Hyung Park of Kogarah High School created a painting titled Triptych of Three Teachers, with blended Korean and Japanese influence.
  • Kate Johnstone of Menai High School created Letters To Home, which explores the theme of change through the effects of moving house on an individual’s childhood.
  • Kayla Mathew of Inaburra School created Seeking Sanctuary, that explores serenity and escapism through landcape. 
  • Rhian Simmons of Sylvania High School created Duty of Care, a drawing that symbolises how human vanity comes at the expense of animals.