The perils of the mind can plague us during times of great upheaval, when reality as we know it transforms before our eyes. Solitary Lamentation expresses the tremendous psychological consequences of global COVID-19 isolation on the individual. In witnessing the deterioration of the internal as it faced the external, my intent in my body of work was to create an emotional connection between the audience and the work. I used charcoal on parchment to represent skin-like texture and the silkiness of hair, immersing my audience in a hyper-real experience.
Sabry Beshir Mohamed
Ashfield Boys High School
(Peace be With You) تصحبك السلامة
My body of work represents my contortions of identity in questioning my faith, and how I found peace, not through or with others, but within myself. It expresses the past – where I’ve come from and what I’ve learned – as well as previewing the future – where I’m going. Elements of the work that seem to simultaneously appear and disappear question ideas of perception. I struggled to find a form of acceptance to keep my faith. I invite my audience to revisit their experiences to find that serene feeling of acceptance. If listened to carefully, these silent pictures will tell a story.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Anya Anti, Bruno Catalano, Renaissance artists.
Hunter Valley Grammar School
My body of work explores the ideas and concepts surrounding ‘home’ and what that means to different people. My intent in the work is to suggest that being at home is simply a feeling, and it can be found in all pursuits of life, no matter where you find yourself. I explore these ideas through my experiences of travel and the feeling of liberation that comes with it.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Declan McKenna, Brazil; Tyler Childers, Lady May.
St Johns College
Back to Grandma
My body of work, Back to Grandma, explores the significance of the sentimental value of objects, and how you can tell a lot about a person through the items they keep. Based on objects found in my Grandma’s home, my work expresses a sense of memory and nostalgia. I cherish the fact that each painting represents a different story, and investigates different aspects of my Grandma's life and experiences and how they intertwine with mine. In each element of my work, my intent is to channel the same sense of comfort and nurturing in you as it does in me.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the artist Rachel Milne.
Maitland Grossmann High School
My body of work explores the idea of still life photography as well as the idea of objects that have importance to me, then blends these concepts. I was interested in investigating the photography of animals such as birds as they have such importance for me. I combined the aspects of animals that I love (chickens and bird) with the other objects represented in my work to create a series of three photographs inspired by lockets. All the choices I made during the time it took to complete this work helped me reach this final point.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Leila Jeffreys, Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini, Vincent van Gogh.
This Is Not a Box
“Think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a sharp knife to it.”
My body of work links six different scenarios by the placement of the 'same' cardboard box at the centre of each image. As the context of the box changes, so does the meaning of each piece. Using intentionally bright colours and studio lighting, all of these 'staged' scenes appear theatrical and surreal, with the intent of inviting the viewer to look closer. The box is a 2D representation of a 3D 'reality'. Through each transformation the boundaries between truth and fiction, realism and surrealism blur.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Banksy, Keep Your Coins, I Want Change; Jean-Michel Basquiat; Deborah Kelly; René Magritte, The Treachery of Images.
Tallulah Eaton Lipman
Randwick Girls High School
Endangered Species of Delusion
Responding to my first-hand experience of the devastation caused by the Black Summer bushfires, and the subsequent regeneration of Australia’s south-east coast, my body of work represents the often overlooked, but magical qualities of our endangered native flora and fauna. Using clay, a material inherently bound to the environment, I hand-built five forms that express aspects of various endangered species. My intent is for audiences to view these animals and plants in a new light, to inspire a sense of awe that results in action to protect our treasured Australian native flora and fauna from extinction.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Jenny Orchard, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran.
Newtown High School of Performing Arts
Lucidity of the Subliminal Mind
Our minds are complex in their capacity to construct and distort the human condition. Influenced by the constraints of class, sex, faith and identity, I express the chaos of our experiences through unsettling figures that represent humanity in a way that is intended to be both disturbing and familiar. I was interested in the way that images we may perceive as morbid can transcend aesthetics to expose the oddities of the psyche. My material practice was flexible, combining various media to create intricate textures, patterns and forms in each element of my body of work.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Noel Fielding, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hamish Gilbert.
My body of work uses interior scenes, at the serendipitous glow of the golden hour, to represent tranquil moments in one’s life that may be overlooked and underappreciated. The absence of human presence and sense of dormancy are very familiar feelings from the last two years. I deliberately confined my colour palette and brush size with the intent of drawing the viewer into a state of tranquility and peace where the beauty of the ordinary can be observed and internalised. Painting on such a small scale created my state of peace and a more personal connection with each piece.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Grace Cossington Smith, Pierre Bonnard and Rachel Milne.
Our Lunar New Year
Collection of Work
My body of work explores my Chinese cultural identity through representations of food eaten during Chinese festivals. For my family, making dumplings has been our tradition since we first arrived in Australia. It is a comfort meal that brings us together to talk, laugh and enjoy each other's company. My intent is to express the liveliness and spirit of cultural traditions that celebrate reunion and food, and invite the audience to be part of the moment. My work appropriates van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait to challenge Western values that dominate the artworld, bringing my Eastern heritage to the forefront.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait; Audrey Flack.
St Scholastica's College Glebe Point
My body of work was digitally animated frame by frame, using a limited colour palette to express the beauty of the Australian landscape and ecosystems. The work represents the trajectory of humans from the Industrial Revolution (symbolised by the train and businessman) through the impacts of the modern world into a future of increasing environmental degradation exacerbated by climate change. My intent was to create a vision of decay and destruction where, finally, in the absence of human influence, the natural world regenerates. My work was an outlet to soothe me, where I theorised a more harmonious end to civilisation.
Penrith Anglican College
Visiting Bà has been my way of spending time with my grandmother, Bà, who passed away when I was four. She lived a short life compared to most, but this body of work explores the lifetime’s worth of difficult experiences she faced. Portraits represent family trauma, schizophrenia, living with incurable cancer – the act of continuing to live knowing you are dying. Botanical illustrations represent life, since she lives on in my memory. They express her strength and recognise the beautiful moments in her life. The digital works have themes of pain and loss, layering doctors’ notes and anatomical illustrations.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Frida Kahlo, CJ Hendry.
Bankstown Girls High School
Inspired by Neoclassicism, Ever-present represents humanity morphed through the ages, challenging the viewer’s concept of time as contrasting characters interact timelessly in a shared space. My body of work juxtaposes various life forms and inanimate objects from prehistory to the not-too-distant future, exploring the power humans hold in a rapidly evolving world. My work expresses the dichotomy between natural and artificial evolution, using Greek mythology as an overarching theme connecting life to tradition and culture and shaping the present. I chose this imagery as my Greek heritage and Australian culture occasionally clash, yet both contribute significantly to making me complete.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Jacques-Louis David; Angelica Kauffman; John Glover; Joan Ross; Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus; Anton Raphael Mengs, Parnassus; Jean-Antoine-Théodore Giroust, Oedipus at Colonus.
Rutherford High School
The Master’s Apprentice
Collection of Work
The Master's Apprentice is a tribute to portraiture and the influential ‘70s rock artists of LGBTQ+ culture. These musicians are seen as the ‘masters’ in the music industry, affecting other musicians for years to come. They play a very similar role to the ‘masters’ of art who have influenced me both in material practice and subject matter.
Cheltenham Girls High School
32 Days in Pandemic
During the pandemic lockdown, we are all locked in our house for several months. We can’t go out for lunch, we can’t see our friends, we can’t enjoy the crowd outside. Finally the lockdown is finished and we are able to go out again. So I go to different restaurants that I have never gone to before, and record the delicious moments. My body of work represents what I missed during the lockdown.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Louis Sketcher, Yomou Chan, MaoMomiji.
North Sydney Girls High School
Dog Idiosyncrasies examines the characteristics of my dog, Owa, who is not only a pet but also my dearest companion, friend and family. My body of work represents his unique and complex personality, along with his favourite objects, in close-up on fragments of slate. It is intended to show how dogs immortalise themselves in our memories as we watch them grow physically and emotionally. They can be stubborn, lazy and eccentric, and it is the combination of these small nuances that leaves an indelible mark on our hearts.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Lucian Freud, David Hockney.
Warners Bay High School
Melancholy Froissage is a papery exploration of the inner state. Folds of love, scrunches of anger and valleys of reflection form physical representations of my thought patterns, cycles and inner battles. Some are ironed out, but traces always remain.
Northern Beaches Secondary College Freshwater Senior Campus
Man’s Favourite: Memento Mori
A conscious choice. A voluntary cycle of love and loss. My body of work expresses an understanding of the unity forged between two exceedingly contrasting organisms, alike in their nature, differing in the time nature has granted them. This selection of short-lived ambiguous figures is intended to represent the emotions in this relationship while allowing viewers their own interpretation of the figures’ features. The changing scale of the statues moves the focal point from start to finish, and the series can loop around to start again if observed that way, alluding to the continuous cycle of this specific ‘memento mori’.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Alberto Giacometti, Peter Dorreen.
Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus
The Artist’s Grief
The Artist’s Grief is an exploration of mourning, deeply personal and thematically universal. Inspired by the highly stylised works of Bill Viola, my body of work’s use of recognisable paintings is intended to catalogue depictions of grief throughout art history. I have interwoven a series of shots taken inside a church to keep the film grounded in reality, influenced by Barry Jenkins’ careful control of mise en scène for emotional authenticity in Moonlight. Within a world in which the real and surreal, the mundane and otherworldly coexist, my work represents the disorienting experience of observing death at close range.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Bill Viola; Barry Jenkins; Thomas Cole, The Dead Abel; John Everett Millais, The Vale of Rest, Ophelia; Titian, Judith with the Head of Holofernes; Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Marat; Paul Delaroche, The Execution of Lady Jane Grey; Rembrandt van Rijn, The Return of the Prodigal Son.
Georgia Louise Nicholl
Newtown High School of Performing Arts
Through the Looking Glass
My body of work explores the distortion of light through vessels of water, with a focus on portraiture. I was interested in how cylindrical vessels of water distort the face, making the features of the face obstructed by the glass appear backwards, and how the positioning of the glass and the angle of view determined whether the features of the face would be stretched, narrowed, magnified or miniaturised. I experimented with different vessels, lighting and colours then photographed my subjects. I painted from the photos that I thought made the most interesting compositions.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Suzanne Saroff, Andrew Tischler.
Macarthur Anglican School
Body image is an issue that is more prevalent now than ever. My body of work, bare, abstractly represents the beauty of the female body and its relationship with nature. As a female, I have witnessed the perpetual shadow that looms around the people I know and love regarding the way they perceive their bodies. The organic curves of the grog raku and magma glaze express the perfect imperfections of our bodies as well as alluding to natural landscapes. With my work my intent is to redefine how we see our bodies: raw, unfiltered, naked – bare.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists and works: Jean Arp: Déméter, Figure Mythique; Emily Hamann; Sophie Nolan, Mother & Child; Kerryn Levy, Asymmetry Vessel series, Onishi Vase series; Henry Moore, Oval Sculpture, Henry Moore at Houghton Hall: Nature and Inspiration exhibition, Four-Piece Composition: Reclining Figure; Lucia Mondadori, The Lilith Vessels series; Tatsiana Shevarenkova, Femme, Verve, Veter Peremen ‘Winds of change’
My body of work explores the unpredictability of life, represented by the Mandelbrot fractal and commonly referred to as the ‘Butterfly Effect’: the unpredictable and uncontrollable impact a small change can have on a set of initial conditions. A choice as small as smiling at a stranger can unravel a series of complex changes in that person’s or another’s life. Each graphic is inspired by the essence, colour, pattern and shape of butterflies. As the viewer moves around, an illusion is created that the composition has been altered. Hence, by engaging with the work, the viewer effectively triggers the Butterfly Effect.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Mark Rothko, Damien Hirst.
Unity Grammar College
Life After Shrapnel
War tends to turn dreams into nightmares. My intent in Life After Shrapnel is to delve into the horrors and aftermath of conflict, presenting a surreal image through my anthropomorphised machines. Fascinated by mechanical systems growing up, my body of work uses the concepts of both Steampunk and Junk Art within our eco-conscious and globalised society to re-use and explore forgotten objects through a new lens.
Stéphane Halleux, Greg Brotherton, Tim Burton, Leonardo da Vinci.
St Joseph's College
32 degrees fahrenheit
My body of work represents my enduring connection with childhood memories and places. Inspired by the organic rustic architecture and recollections of the farm and the bush, I see a positive world where Australians can blend our unique plant life and landscape with urban design. In my work the linear symmetry of the fences expresses human influence reaching into the landscape. The organic clay shapes they are printed onto are intended to show how humanity needs to and can mould itself to the natural world so that we coexist in harmony.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Ai Weiwei.
Norfolk Island Central School
My body of work represents pieces of my lived experience throughout the time I was at school. It’s largely inspired by my thoughts, feelings and frustrations pertaining to my art and my schooling. These feelings have often been both a source of inspiration and a hurdle in my growth as an artist. Doodling on an exam paper is something I have always wanted to do, and was in trouble for in primary school. Doing this felt like the clearest and most satisfying way of expressing myself and closing the chapter on my school career, making this work cathartic and invigorating.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Lois van Baarle (@loisvb), @_ciszej_.
Presbyterian Ladies' College Sydney
你吃了吗？(Have you eaten?)
As someone of Chinese heritage, food represents love, health and prosperity. Greeting someone with ‘Have you eaten?’ is how, in my culture, we show our hospitality. As in every culture, there are dishes and recipes that are passed down generationally and modified uniquely within each family. Handmade meals are a form of love and bring a sense of comfort that is found through security and familiarity. There is nothing quite like a family dinner handmade with love.
Mia Drummond Young
Frame of Mind
My body of work is a personal exploration of identity and self-analysis as we emerge from our senior years of high school. My intent is to draw audiences into an intimate space of self-reflection, with the pink frame representing adolescence and the outer white frame the shift into adulthood. Musing hand gestures express the curation of identity in light of this unwritten future. In contrast, my self-portrait expresses disquiet. The face is cropped and tightly bound within the frame, and musing hands are absent, amplifying my examination of our fragile, emergent Frame of Mind.
My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Maurizio Anzeri, Jonathon Yeo.