I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Visual Arts Department, who alongside me have taught Year 12 – Vanessa Chalmers, Sharon Hare, Stephen Lowther and Emily Turner – 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 Stephen Lowther 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 will be announced at the official HSC opening.
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
Suppressed to Survive
My body of work reveals our inner emotions and complexities, realised through animal-inspired costume, texture and pose that echo these primal feelings. Captured in a studio setting and edited in an almost alien-like way, the stylistic choices seek to convey the manipulated and removed nature of our animalistic nature, suppressed to survive.
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Still Doesn’t Rule the World
Despite the progression in gender equality, the lasting impact of ingrained social expectations on women are exposed and manipulated in my body of work. I chose to have adolescent women as my subjects to reflect the binding pressure women face from a young age. Through surrealist techniques, juxtaposing symbolism and performance-inspired photographs, the imagery confronts the viewer, asking them to reflect on their own position and contribution to such idioms.
The Mother Wound
My artwork intends to subvert the idealised relationship of a mother and daughter, to instead depict the aspects of toxicity that may arise as a reaction to the intergenerational and societal pressures of motherhood. I wanted to depict the emotional struggle within the negative facets of this dynamic as I believe it is seldom discussed in Australian society. The three images I have drawn represent different aspects of influence of a mother on her daughter, including pressure to perform, fractured self-image and disorderly eating habits.
The deception of animal cruelty in our consumer-driven society is explored throughout my body of work. The implementation of the aesthetic view in domestic environments reveals the incivility of humans and their savagery. Reversing roles of human and animal aspects introduces the irony of gruesome elements in human practices.
My work is an investigation into the phenomena of Chinese ghost cities; the recipient of an ongoing stream of criticism. Empty apartment towers and architectural showpieces with no apparent functions continue to rise out of the earth. I aim to capture these ‘Failed Utopias’ or ‘Stillborn Cities’ through my series of black and white graphic linocut prints.
Human identity is formed and reformed through experience, relationships and the culture and beliefs that surround us. Our sense of self is not illusory, but neither is it permanent nor impermeable. It is a matter of constant reinterpretation and active construction with gradual influence. My body of work explores this process through the combination of studio photography, expressive mark-making and digital manipulation, leaving interpretation open to the audience who will bring their own experiences to their understanding.
My body of work seeks to convey the sensation of being followed. In this case, the audience acts as voyeur and embodies this gaze. Mental illness, depression, anxiety and other conditions lurk in the shadows, follow the individual, impress their weight, and ruthlessly intrude on life. The black and white photographs emulate film stills, capturing the shared intimacy and cinematic essence of the experience.
Marama explores the intimate relationship within my family, that incorporates Fijian and Pasifika culture, in particular women. I look at the impact of my mother and her sisters, coming to Australia when they were young and the loss of their mother, which shaped the intergenerational experience of my whole family that was separated from culture. I attempt to capture the beauty and heart of the feminine within my family that experienced the loss of matriarch, that held the link to our indigeneity.
The Timeless Façade
My body of work explores the hidden façade seen in many cultures throughout history—highlighting the unachievable and unsustainable beauty standards women have been subjected to over time, whilst simultaneously revealing the dissembling nature of this external deception. I aimed to embody a range powerful female figures as inspiration for this concept, enabling the expression of the agony they endured in the pursuit of ‘beauty’ to be effectively represented through a striking visual modality.
My body of work explores the degradation and overtaking of the natural world by human activity; specifically, the changing of natural ecosystems as a result of the expanding artificial world, which creates chaotic, hybrid ecosystems. These neo-ecosystems are slowly becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives. Is it something to correct or is it too late? Is this something we’ll just have to get used to and find regularity and beauty in?
Flora, Fauna & Flaw
My body of work explores the relationship between nature and human aspects; how we are both a part of nature, and nature a part of us. To analyse our own intricate qualities and behaviours is to see ourselves through fragments of the world around us to find what makes us whole. But do we truly understand and appreciate the parts of us that make us human, or do we take it all for granted?
My body of work explores the differing heritages of my family and takes the viewer back to a moment in time. Painted in a way as to look like photos from an album but stylised, to create a story and a relationship between the evolution of my family and our heritage.
My body of work explores the evolution of human predicament; the relationship between humans with nature, science and technology. Originally humans existed with the natural world. Over time, technology was introduced, and the world became virtual. In contemporary times this technology has allowed the human world to expand into space and other worlds.
Slices of a COVID Life
My body of work explores the world before and after COVID-19. Choosing famous landmarks of significance before and after COVID, I have then sliced these two images together to create one fragmented work.
Eyes Wide Open
My work celebrates the human connection with nature to support us through life. The subject’s large eyes highlight the importance of observing and savouring the natural beauty in the world. The world is chaotic and stressful – pandemics, wars, daily challenges, and upsets – focusing on nature is restorative and supportive. Science suggests time in nature strongly impacts our mental wellbeing, decreases stress, increases happiness and life satisfaction. We are a part of nature and it fuels our life.
The Divine Revelation
I have come to lead you to the other shore; into eternal darkness; into fire and into ice. Into the Inferno.
Dante Alighieri, Inferno
Inspired by religious iconic art, my body of work aims to explore the shift in moral values in our 21st century society; characteristics and behaviours once perceived as flawed or corrupt have been repackaged into a glorified form that we can idolise and aspire to. Through creating a new generation of deities, personas that embody these destructive modern ideals, I encourage the audience to question whether these traits are really worthy of worship.
My body of work triptych explores the concept of dreams, their purpose, variety and complexity. In the series I depict three types of dreaming: vivid, deep sleep and night terrors. Dreams help us to sort through our most complex emotions and store memories. When dreaming we can push the limits of our creativity without the distraction of external information; our subconscious takes our real-world reality and warps it just beyond our comprehension.
Since the advent of consumerism and mass production, the world has innocently embraced plastic to its own detriment. My body of work exposes this juxtaposition between our fascination with plastic and the harsh reality of its impact on us by contrasting textual, abstract plastics with confronting images of struggle. The large wall installation represents the epic amount of ‘single-use’ plastic currently in our environment and the work aims to force the viewer to face their denial of this crisis.
My body of work explores the language of flowers and their symbolic meaning, exploring ideas of beauty, decay and our connection to nature. Each series focuses on a different species and how they relate to the sitter. Drawing from the practice of photographer Fares Micue, the dark background draws attention to the colour and detail of each bloom, their intricate detail, both natural and manipulated.
Day Dream City
My body of work explores our need for imagination to transport us to other worlds and away from the monotony of life. Photographs of the city are juxtaposed with colourful, digitally drawn creatures and scenes. These images create a sense of childlike imagination and awe, an escape from everyday life.
A Life, Interlaced
This photographic series explores the ephemeral nature of life, reflecting on the different roles’ women play over the span of a lifetime. Conveyed through interwoven imagery that shifts and morphs, my body of work surveys how a woman’s identity is constantly evolving and highlights the sometimes-conflicting roles and qualities expected of women. Soft and feminine, yet strong and fierce, these weavings question and reveal the psychological complexities of a woman’s life.
Dualism – the relationship between the mind and body. My body of work aims to paint one’s physical likeness while filling it with a tranquil landscape reflecting a connection to the land. I aim to encapsulate the beauty of the Australian landscape, one which holds many memories and stories for each individual.
In My Language, Mala Means Light
My work explores the importance of where we come from, and how that place and culture influences and allows us to question our view of the world in which we live. Papua New Guinea is a beautiful, yet flawed, country with a complex and unique history that revolves around a rich, ever-changing culture and political instability that seeps from the roots of its colonial past. My work aims to convey that above all else, I am Papua New Guinean.
Droughts, Floods and Loss
My body of work explores the connection between my family history and their strong link to land ranging from northern New South Wales up to Far North Queensland. I aim to depict, through a series of watercolour paintings, the hardships and experiences of my elders who survived droughts, floods, and loss of livestock as they worked to make a living.
My body of work represents the intricacy and dichotomy of the natural world; beauty in contrast to scientific purpose. I draw attention to the metaphorical desperation of Australian endangered species within their environment. I want the viewer to feel the weight of the issue and how we interfere, threatening their permanence.
Enduring Presence (Generations of Women)
Flowers are a universal symbol of beauty and are traditionally associated with femininity. My body of work symbolically represents different flowers; each a symbol of significant women in my family. Each different flower becomes a symbol of an enduring individual memory of their presence. My work aims to capture the beauty I identify in these women.
Manifestations of the Unconscious
In my body of work, I strive to curate a variety of images reflecting a visual representation of the subconscious and inner psyche when faced with the evolution of the human mind. I have evoked strong emotions through the visual imagery and colouration, stimulating a universal connection with the artwork and the audience. I aim to highlight the complexity of the human brain, presenting a visual depiction of its response to different emotions and the correlations it makes between different colours, themes and images.
Age, History, Memory and Loss…
My body of work explores the experiences faced by people and the ways in which self-experience shapes individuality and what we become. Through a collection of texts and family memorabilia, I aim to depict the impact of age, history, memory and loss on our perspectives. By stitching back into these images, I want to bring a sense of connection between these experiences and each person’s perspective.
Through the Magnifying Glass
Birds’ instinct is to flock together; however, these birds are cannon fodder for the survival of the collective and are quickly forgotten. We no longer need these safety instincts to survive; we have the opportunity and freedom to explore and celebrate the individual. My artwork reminds the viewer that it is easy to forget our individuality when we come together as a collective. Never forget to look through the magnifying glass.
Where Do We Come From?
My body of work explores the physical and anatomical connections that exist between humans and animals. I aim to explore the idea that humans evolved from animals and identify the similarities and differences that exist between the two species. I have shown these differences using a fine tip pen to represent the animal anatomy, and pencil to represent the human species.
It’s Becoming Easier
My work documents a nursing home during COVID-19 over the last 12 months. In following my grandfather, I saw moments of connection as staff and patients grasped happiness in empty halls. Without familiar visitors, staff aimed to provide solace in masks of joy, covering the pain of these trying times. Recently, my grandfather mentioned ‘it’s becoming easier’, synonymous with the current climate. Yet, I feel conflicted as these residents remain most vulnerable in our community.
The Way the World Ends
My work explores the idea of a dystopian future through combining elements of past, present, and future societies. It explores relevant issues including the impacts of climate change, mass production and consumption, and innovation. I present these as a contrast between dystopian and utopian worlds—while life above ground may seem fantastic and exciting, it is the world below that reveals the true extent of human actions.
Co-Being tells the story of the transformative quality of a human-horse relationship, as the two become attuned to each other’s physical and emotional needs. Horses can act as a mirror of us as they feel everything we do; they have incredible intuition and can take the rider on a journey to reach a place of mutual synergy and balance. The rider and horse become one.
While the World Changes
My work explores the concept of how it is ‘in with the old’, ‘out with the new’, and how the different decades have changed throughout the changing era. My photographs illustrate the bringing in of the new modern world that ties in with the old, to make them connect to each other.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
My body of work explores scenes from romanticised depictions of rodeo entertainment, while my rural background provides a constant undercurrent in my work. Each singular piece underpins the title in different ways, from the mistreatment of horses in bronc riding, to exploring the complexities surrounding the misleading perceptions of what defines horse handling to be ‘Good’, ‘Bad’ or ‘Ugly’.