Works by some of the state's most talented young artists are set to go on display at Hazelhurst Arts Centre as the ever-popular ARTEXPRESS exhibition returns to the gallery for the 2024 showcase.
Featuring more than 50 outstanding HSC artworks, including seven by students from schools across St George and Sutherland Shire, this year's free exhibition sees a strong focus on family, cultural identity, and sense of place.
Sutherland Shire Mayor Carmelo Pesce said he was astounded by the quality of this year's exhibition, and impressed by the creative ways students expressed their ideas and explored issues important to them.
"ARTEXPRESS continues to shed light on issues significant to our youth every year. I am consistently impressed by the creativity, ideas, and talent displayed. Congratulations to all the students for their remarkable achievements," he said.
Leilani Vittorio from Bethany College explores family heritage and cultural identity through the collection of works, Nonno.
"My Nonno's journey stands as the living thread that connects my family to our privileged existence today. He left behind family, loved ones and life in Sicily to begin a new life in an unfamiliar land with an unknown future," Leilani said.
"The immense courage, sacrifice and hardship he endured is a direct testament to the courageous migrants of the 1950-60s, whose unwavering spirit and inspiring stories deserve to be cherished, honoured and not forgotten. In honour of my Nonno, my body of work represents his journey as not just a story but instead an anthem of hope, success and gratitude."
Her grandfather recently featured in the Leader, celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary.
Joshua Corr from St Patrick's College Sutherland examines links between social media and identity theft in the graphic design work Social Media - An Enabler and Amplifier.
"Identity theft is getting easier to achieve and harder to stop. It has increased to an unimaginable extent due to social media and a new and ever-changing world of technological communication. I am highly interested in the effects of social media and how it enables and amplifies identity theft. My body of work investigates identity theft and its consequences for society," Joshua said.
Felicia Calma from Georges River College, Oatley Senior Campus celebrates the power of imagination and inspiration in the graphic design work Guiding Lights.
"Moments of inspiration often emerge in our lives like a spark of light. My body of work represents the journey of an individual who unlocks the power of the imagination to transcend realities, arriving at an enchanted world illuminated by shining lights," Felicia said.
"Sources of inspiration are manifested as lanterns, goldfish, stars and flowers, are guiding forces which lead the individual through the creative journey. My work focuses on how dark and light capture an ethereal atmosphere, inviting audiences into a fantastical world. Thus emphasising the value of creativity as a catalyst for new ideas or self-discovery."
Angelina O'Connor from De La Salle Catholic College, Cronulla takes a satirical approach to recent protests by climate activitsts in the drawing The Fossil Fuel Follies.
"My work is a satirical look at the way how the canon of great art and the public museum have become sites of protest. Climate activists have drawn global attention to extinction by fossil-fueled global warming. I have used a combination of ink wash and line techniques to achieve graphic outlines and gradations of tone. My intentions were served by the choice of red, associated symbolically with danger, alarm and passion," Angelina said.
From February 10-April 7.