This year there is a strong emphasis on drought and fire, waste, humanity’s negative impact on the environment, the minutiae of life, and the importance of our natural environment. In addition students also reveal their inner world as well: the impact of time, the escapism of digital games, the inner anxiety we all experience, and the fear and anger associated with life threatening illness.
Iris Li of St Ursula’s College in her work, Cultural metamorphosis, explores multiculturalism in contemporary Australia by introducing anthropomorphised animals into recognisable scenes of Sydney that appear in anime style. She is challenging us to consider how new cultures challenge and stretch us to understand different beliefs and traditions arising out of multiculturalism.
Jaimee Fischer from Abbotsleigh in her work, Resilience, reflects on the ability to overcome adversity and the capacity for renewal. Referencing the banksia serrata, a plant which requires fire for renewal, she challenges the audience to consider whether adversity is to be considered as destructive or a source of renewal and to further consider our relationship to the world.
Jacqueline Shen from North Sydney Girls High School in her work, ёin a dogís ageí (In a Dog’s Age), considers how time impacts life and companionship. By creating ‘memory boxes’ she shows the transition of time and the aging of her pet dog but concludes that memories remain forever.
Noah Eakin from Byron Bay High School in his work, Warrior Within, has created a character in his search for strength when facing the trauma of cancer and the fear of chemotherapy. His character traverses the darkness of a forest, a river of reflection and an ocean of cleansing as he begins a journey of healing.
Belinda Hanrahan, Director of Hazelhurst Arts Centre said the exhibition has been curated by the Gallery’s Kate Milner and Stephanie Bray and this year it is as strong in ideas as ever and reveals extraordinary technical skills by young artists throughout NSW.
Hazelhurst joins other venues across New South Wales in hosting the ARTEXPRESS exhibition, seen by thousands of people.
ARTEXPRESS is a joint partnership between The New South Wales Department of Education and NSW Education Standards Authority in association with Hazelhurst Arts Centre.