Art Rules, the exhibition of outstanding works by HSC visual art students will open on December 11 at Hazelhurst Arts Centre.
A total of 21 students will showcase their creations that were inspired by a challenging year.
Being affected by COVID-19 throughout their senior schooling, it came as no surprise that one theme in this year's exhibition commented on the effects of the pandemic.
Other emerging themes include family, relationships, faces and the human form, architecture, and nature.
"This will be the first official opening since 2019, after a challenging two years for students during a pandemic," Hazelhurst Art Centre Director Belinda Hanrahan said.
"I'm pleased with young people will be able to celebrate the excellence they have achieved in their HSC.
"This year the variety and the calibre of work is incredible. Now is the time for these students to shine and celebrate their success with family and friends in a gallery setting as they deserve."
Engadine High School's Elise Andersen uses body painted figures to explore the issue of domestic violence.
Her work titled 'Dissimulation' features photographs of models who have been painted to camouflage into a tropical landscape of palm leaves and birds, with the striking colours creating a two-dimensional optical illusion that prompts a closer look. The camouflaged figures are a metaphor for the invisibility of domestic violence victims and their often incapability to speak out, while the birds represent liberty and the desire to break free.
In 'Blue[life]style', by Oscar Nah Bhanbherk of James Cook Boys Technology High School, the effects of COVID-19 on the lives of young people are explored.
He reflects on his former carefree lifestyle with friends. Through a series of manga style drawings he depicts teenage life and youth street fashion while playing on the meaning of the word 'blue'. His work and its title allude to a disparity of freedom and suffering - the freedom of a blue sky in contrast to the suffocation of 'the blues' suffered during a worldwide pandemic that drained people of all their colour.
Jannali High School Student Isabella Bendeich created a series of monoprints in her work 'Gould's Legacy', which explores the changing ideas around preservation since the Victorian era, referencing the work of Elizabeth and John Gould.
The 23-piece work features birds posed with foliage, within Victorian era display domes and doilies. Through her work she poses the question if preservation means preserving species through records or conserving what's living.
Marcus Petrovski of Menai High School created an innovative work using paste-ups in a photo series he named 'St John's Orphanage.'
Drawn to the site for its cultural significance and aesthetics of current state, his photo media piece explores the history and chaotic beauty of St John's Orphanage in Goulburn. Opened in 1912, the site was decommissioned in 1978 leaving behind a crumbling resemblance of the former building. With black and white paste-ups, he pasted images of past residents and staff to create an installation within the site, bringing life back into a forgotten place.
See Art Rules until January 16, 10am-4pm daily.
Student exhibitors this year include:
- Deonie De Frenza, Aquinas College
- Larissa Bowen-Williams, Endeavour Sports High School
- Elise Andersen, Engadine High School
- Jorja Stojanovic, Heathcote High School
- Isabella Bendeich, Jannali High School
- Charles Robertson, Port Hacking High School
- Jonah Rayment, St Patricks College Sutherland
- Areya Srisawart, Blakehurst High School
- Oscar Nah Bhanbherk, James Cook Boys Technology High School
- Deena Loukadellis, Moorefield Girls High School
- Thomas Nikolovski, St George Christian School
- Kiara Reddy, St Ursula's College Kingsgrove
- Kloe McEwan, Caringbah High School
- Eva Maurer, Cronulla High School
- Lily McAdam, De La Salle
- Emily Ko, Inaburra High School
- Kate Chapman, Kirrawee High School
- Marcus Petrovski, Menai High School
- Yuna Toda, St George Girls High School
- Nathan Lironis, Sydney Technical High School
- Matiese Kyra Fearnley, Woolooware High School