I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Visual Arts Department, who alongside me have taught Year 12 – Vanessa Bellemore, Vanessa Chalmers, Lauren Henry and Steve Lowther – for their exceptional work in guiding the girls through this process. Their experience, knowledge and resolve to see each and every girl do their very best has resulted in a range of highly resolved artworks. Thanks must also go to Lauren Henry for taking and processing the photographs for this online catalogue, and to Andrew Mallon for his terrific work in formatting it.
The prestigious Ascham Foundation Art Award (for a work that will come into the School’s permanent collection) will now be announced at Prizegiving later in the year.
Congratulations to each of our talented Year 12 students, and on behalf of the whole Visual Arts Department I wish you well for your HSC and the years beyond.
Jeff Morabito | Head of Visual Arts/Design & Technology
Parables of our Time
My body of work aims to enlighten the audience with lessons from the Bible, through the faces of those nearest and dearest to me. Inspired by childhood memories, the stories I have chosen to depict contain morals and lessons which we are still able to draw from. Despite these morals we learn, individuals still often choose to defy and go against these lessons.
As individuals, we face significant life decisions, either detrimental or valuable. This decision can change everything. My body of work aims to capture the internal battles that one experiences when exposed to various life situations. What happens if we gamble our life away?
I was Feeling Euphoric
My body of work explores the issues of drug abuse and depression surrounding young adults. My photographic series aims to capture the various states of both the intense low and dramatic high experienced by four different individuals. My series of images illustrates the aftermath of drug abuse and the emotions that occur in the state of depression.
The Chicken or the Egg?
My body of work explores the absurdity of rationalising life and its origins. Why are we here and where do we come from? This existential crisis transcends time and is faced by us all, fracturing our perception of ourselves and life.
We crave what we believe will cure our hedonistic approach to life. We chase success, materialism, and compare what we have with others. We desire approval whilst unaware that our existence proves our worth. Through illustrating objects these figures desire, the aim is to present the modern pleasure-seeking lifestyle some aspire to live.
The Body in Pieces
…a loss of wholeness, a shattering of connection, a destruction or disintegration of permanent value that is so universally felt. (Linda Nochlin)
Linda Nochlin’s exploration of the fragmentation of the human body throughout art history is what inspired my body of work. My own manipulation of anatomical fragments echoes her voice and acts as a continuation of the ideas she presents in her book The Body in Pieces: The Fragment as a Metaphor of Modernity.
My body of work explores the fear and paranoia experienced by three generations of women in my family. The psychedelic and blooming nature of my work shows the workings of their minds in reaction to their fears, resulting in a lively and playful series of works.
My body of work explores the rich heritage of my grandparents’ lives. The process of exploring their personal histories has allowed me to gain insights into their life stories and document their struggles, joys and achievements. Increasingly our contemporary society celebrates youth, and in my artwork I encourage my viewers to contemplate the elders in their lives and the legacies they have created.
香蕉 (Banana) no. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My body of work, metaphorically titled Banana in Chinese characters, represents my view of myself as a ‘third culture kid’ living in Sydney, adopting a mostly Western lifestyle whilst still retaining certain traditional aspects. The work explores the intricate workings of my inner psyche, combining my heritage, personality and chaos within.
My body of work encapsulates the beauty that resides in architectural forms and captures the modernist aesthetic that epitomises affluent humanity’s aspirational lifestyles. Each panel tells a story, a cautionary tale—of attainment of the prosperous ideal of a calm, perfect home and possessions—but is negligent of the pervasive, lurking threat signified by the iconic symbol of fear, the shark in the pool, the shadowy menace of the gunman in the driveway, and the toxic ooze from the chemically poisoned vegetation.
My body of work explores the haunting beauty found in parahumans and hybrid objects. My images have a sinister and disturbing undertone, and are inspired by the practices of two contemporary artists, Patricia Piccinini and Flora Borsi. The series of unrealistic amalgamations from both humans and objects confronts the audience and poses questions about genetic modification.
When We Dream
During the rapid eye movement stage of sleep, when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake, we are transported to an elusive state where our reality is deserted. Throughout this ephemeral cycle, we are able to view the world through a euphoric lens. My body of work delves into the subconscious mind, exploring the mystically surreal adventures we are taken on when we dream.
Destructive, But Beautiful
“Sometimes the prettiest things can be found in the ugliest of circumstances.”
My body of work explores the beautiful and illusive nature of destruction, focusing on the devastation of our waterways and questioning why something that is so hurtful for our earth can be so breathtaking. In my work, I have aimed to depict the colours of pollutants through intricate and delicate embroidery to illustrate the splendour in human demolition.
My work explores the simultaneously beautiful and destructive relationship humans have with the natural environment. Through employing contrasting imagery, signifying both life and decay, the extent to which humans and nature rely on one another is conveyed. The importance of coexisting harmoniously with our surroundings in order to make these natural connections is revealed, to provide encouragement to thrive as a collective.
What started as a moment of interest in exploring and discovering the journey of how my grandma came into being soon became the telling of untold personal history, the unwinding of the story that is my grandmother’s life.
Time is constantly all around us. Where is it? What is it? It’s not just some ticking noise. It’s far more complex. My body of work shows time at its most complicated—that is, its behaviour around a black hole. Time slows, fractures and distorts as it is pulled into the abyss of a space-time singularity.
On Intimacy and Ecstasy
In my body of work I aim to capture the freedom and self-possession of rave culture by blurring boundaries between fantasy and reality, intimacy and ecstasy, and the familiar and the unknown. On the dance floor, the repetitive, hypnotic music creates a consuming sensory and emotive experience, bonding people together as they become, for a moment, free from constraining order and control of the modern world. Thus, I capture how, for many, this experience of ephemeral hedonism provides a meaningful escape from reality.
My triptych deconstructs and reanalyses commonly known biblical stories by placing them in a contemporary sphere, to test their legitimacy and whether it is appropriate to take our morals from them. My work reconfigures traditional Catholic biblical tales and reimagines them on a more realistic and three-dimensional scale, commenting on the power of religion and the influence it has over our values as a society.
Bona fide or Bona fad?
Can astrology be a tool to help us understand ourselves, and those around us? With the rise of horoscope popularity and controversy regarding its legitimacy, I decided to research the qualities of the zodiac signs of my friends and family. From this I present 12 portraits that illustrate the resonant qualities of each sign from my perspective. My body of work extends the notion of the legitimacy of the zodiac, and from this I pose a question to my audience—Do you see what I see?
My body of work is a psychedelic mind doodle portraying the inner workings of my subconscious. Each drawing portrays a snapshot of my world twisted and morphed by my subconscious mind into a vivid cultural puree. Within my texter drawings I explore problems our society is facing, that affect both individuals and the collective.
My body of work creates illusions by taking advantage of how we perceive stimuli and process information. It illustrates the simultaneous paradox of both the truths and lies that we externally propagate in representations of ourselves. The distorted images can be deceptive and misleading, prompting audiences to gather and interpret their own meanings behind each persona.
Through the Eyes of Architecture
Architecture has the power to inspire and communicate meaning with an aesthetic purpose. My body of work explores the portrayal of architecture in order to expose the platform it can have by enhancing the overall aesthetic. Through the eyes of architecture, we have the ability to transcend societal limitations—challenging the significance of representing how we see ourselves, as well as how we see the world.
My body of work explores the inherent and engrained dichotomies of human nature, through appropriation of folk art and grotesque imagery. My work utilises humour and irony in the pursuit of modern nihilism through the characterisation and personification of skeletons. Through the triptych, ironic and contemporary dichotomies are explored—those that contrast life and death—enabling satirical self-reflection from the audience, around concepts of truth, mortality and morbidity.
The Songs of Similarity
My very personal work explores the factors contributing to the creation of my own identity, including those personalities of my family members. Like an artwork, we are composed of eyes, noses and ears—we are hybrids of our family members. My portraits explore the visual similarities within our family, however, the song lyrics reveal their differences.
Synergy in Motion
In my body of work I am exploring the versatility of horses and their incredible skills in different disciplines. I have collected imagery from professional riders and their horses competing in different disciplines to showcase the adaptability of horses. My portraits of horses and their riders reveal their intimate relationships and the trials and tribulations of striving for perfection.
Sporting Art of Apparent Perfection
My body of work is about the strive for perfection in sport, materialising into disordered behaviours for young athletes, specifically women. Attempting to achieve ideals of physical perfection splits the individual into external and internal perceptions. Externally, the athlete presents as well performing, but the internal conflict arising from pressure of perfection affects their mental wellbeing. My work incorporates influences from Barbara Kruger, Marie Hald and Pablo Thecuadro.
My body of work explores a range of societal issues and constructs, respectively: mental health, beliefs, time, wealth, technology, gender and avocations. Each dollhouse depicts a key issue that has been extrapolated into smaller rooms exploring synonymous subtopics. I was inspired by the material practice of David LaChapelle and employed his signature surreal blend of colourful theatrical imagery.
Death in the Dust
My body of work explores my environment through the use of mandalas and patterns. The skulls represent my connection to the land and how new species have been introduced; it also suggests biodiversity. The drought has influenced my use of skulls, through the loss of habitat and vegetation including native plants and animals as symbols of the connections in my world, in particular the land.
Manufacturing our Natural World
My body of work illustrates the notion of the incessant production of man-made manufacturing. The concepts of capitalism, materialism and consumerism have redefined our natural world and ecosystems causing destruction of a natural element. Through visual propaganda, I have demonstrated the physical effects of human destruction on our environments.
In my body of work I am exploring my subjects’ greatest fears. The paintings embody their fears and the effect they have on their lives. My work seeks to draw greater connections for the viewer between a person’s fear triggers in their internal and external world, allowing a unique insight into the mechanics of fear.
I aim to depict my grandfather’s slow struggle with dementia and how it affects everybody around him, especially his family. When someone with dementia becomes increasingly absent, it is important to hold onto what remains: the memories that were shared and the moments that were enjoyed. I wish to preserve the faces of my grandfather’s family, along with his own, before they soon become unrecognisable.
We live on one planet and exist within cities filled with skyscrapers in conjunction with expansive natural landscape. Through this body of work, I comment on how these two environments combine and exist together, and yet, they are worlds apart.
Connection; Purpose and Meaning to Lives
Family heritage provides people with a sense of belonging and shapes their value system. My body of work aims to explore the concept of connectedness and kinship, delving into the origin of one’s connection to places. Each family member and close friend has been depicted in a place that holds great significance to both the individual and myself.
My oeuvre dissects the unappreciated beauty of modern infrastructure to highlight its importance and its beneficial qualities in society. Concrete: its sturdy, durable and resistant properties result in its endurance since its Ancient Roman epoch. This journey has cultivated my gratitude for the macro-elements that provide the foundations to our diverse society.
Humanity is a collaboration of beauty and the unique, where we look at the interdependent relationship between mankind and nature, and its capacity of opportunity. My body of work explores the celebration of this diversity and reliance on one another. Mutualism highlights the current exploitation of the natural environment by humanity and the need for conservation. For the beauty in our surroundings to flourish it must be treated with respect and protected.
My body of work explores the unique desires and interests of individuals at different stages of their lives. My series depicts the different ways humans are wired as a result of external influences and choices. The influences that shape each individual are all-consuming; filling one’s mind and attention.