A message from the Director of Art and Design Drew Bickford

This year, we have been given a powerful reminder that our world is moulded by forces beyond those in our control. As a consequence, creative thinking has come to the fore, with innovation in learning methods and contexts being recalibrated to suit a unique need.

The IGS Visual Arts students have given us creative responses to the challenges of a changing world with both grace and curiosity. Embracing complications such as off-site learning, our students worked with insight, energy and courage. Their works illustrate a defiant personal best and each effort perfectly refutes an imperfect year.

Family, wellbeing, spirituality, friendship and further themes explored

The Visual Arts students maintained a positive forward momentum throughout the turbulent year and 2020 was an opportunity for the cohort to redefine the boundaries of studio practice. Holiday and evening workshops were a link to the important concept of communal artmaking.

Ensuring an authentic collaborative experience in the studio is vital to a holistic appreciation of the course. Student artworks touched on themes of family, as well as mental health, anthropology and friendship, with social, political and spiritual influences.

This year a number of students completed major practical projects in both Design and Technology and Visual Arts, simultaneously. This is a significant undertaking and further highlights the creative strength of the IGS student body.

Applauding individual effort

The creative forces that inspired and guided our students through this year of significant hardship are finally able to be recognised in this online exhibition. Each students’ individual efforts in these two creative subjects can today be applauded and acknowledged in a deservedly public manner.

As well as congratulating the students, I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the other Year 12 teachers, Ms Sandra Veljanovski and Ms Isobel Green. Their long hours in the classroom ensured that our students were well attended to throughout the year. I also extend a big thank you to the broader team in Art and Design; Ksenija Doic, Mark Devine, Sophie Lampert, Michael Bullingham and Marisa Kiethanom for their expert assistance and feedback throughout the year.

Please enjoy the exhibition.

Holly Baldwin

Title of Major Work: Self Portrait as a Landslide – Drawing

Self portrait as a landslide is exactly that; a conceptual self-portrait, the way I perceive myself, the world, people around me, and my experiences represented in a collage of drawings. Mostly dealing with my own perception of self physically and emotionally throughout my life, but also touching on specific experiences and life events that I feel have impacted me dramatically. Essentially, a viewer is reading a physical manifestation of my diary entries.

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Eliza Brunsdon

Title of Major Work: The glass ceiling – Drawing

Like the smashing of the invidious glass ceiling, my body of work has been nothing less than a cathartic release of frustration towards the world we live in. Specifically, a frustration towards a society that innately favours white, straight, cis-gendered males.

Political art has long communicated the importance of social justice and acts as a vessel for artists to both express themselves freely and fight for the freedom of others. Manifesting all this into my body of work, I chose to draw six portraits, each representing a group of people marginalised on the basis of gender, sexuality or race.

As one of my models puts it; “being a teenager is hard enough already as it is. Add questioning your gender into adolescence, and your experience becomes much more difficult”. With this, I seek to target internalised ways of thinking that feed a prejudicial and bigoted political and social hegemony. I seek to educate and inform other viewpoints and perspectives as well as empower and validate the lived experience of marginalised individuals.

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Nash Conway

Title of Major Work: The midnight special – Graphic Design

My body of work is a collection of 10 record sleeves, appropriating some of my favourite albums. Each artwork is created using stencilling and spray painting and my attraction to music and musical artists was the influence for the work.

I also drew inspiration from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s – particularly music my dad collected whilst I was growing up. Music has always helped with my mental health issues and immersion in this music is a great escape from anxiety for me. The street art influence stems from my experiences and what I saw on my travels around London and Melbourne.

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Angus Dowling

Title of Major Work: Self perception – Painting/multimedia

My body of work, Self perception, represents a period in my life in which I was extremely underconfident and overly self-critical. The piece includes a soundscape that is designed to give the audience an experience of the inner turmoil I felt at the time while they view the artworks.

The soundscape explores the paradoxical narratives that we tell ourselves to get through life. The increasing abstraction of the paintings highlights the gradual dissolution of the expectations that I incorrectly imposed upon myself. The colour palette of the paintings reflects my insecurities about physical reactions I have to embarrassment and other emotive responses. By exaggerating these effects visually I was able to exert control over them.

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Sebastian Du

Title of Major Work: Shadow painting

My body of work is a collection of artworks in the style and medium of traditional east and south Asian ink painting where I have incorporated black and water to create landscapes and images to evoke emotion and curiosity. My own interpretation in a western, modern way allows the audience to understand the perspective of the artist in relation to history and the present. A perspective and passion which derives from being Australian born coloured individual.

Highlighting the loss of history throughout cultures in terms of colonisation as well as western influence, it talks about how tradition, religion and customs have all been altered and forgotten as modern society progresses and dismisses the origins and importance of spirit, natural world and culture.

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Anouk Ely

Title of Major Work: The lover award collection of works

My body of work consists of three artworks in three different mediums, each dealing with my personal journey through mental illness and clinical depression. By creating a gold sculpture of my friend who passed away, I am memorialising her spirit and honouring her memory in the form of a tribute.

A matching animated film illustrates my journey of recovery and support after the tragedy. Friends and family feature as important players in this part of the story. The narrative is a symbolic tale of demonic fate and magic, inspired by Japanese animation Studios Ghibli and Chizu.  My painting series references the characters and styles explored in the animation, with the main character Alia presented in a stylised and powerful painted portrait.

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Grace Fusco

Title of Major Work: In the middle, somewhat elevated – Printmaking

My work explores movement through a modernist perceptive and was inspired by Martha Graham and modern dance technique. The work features moving snippets of images dancing across the wall and intersecting with each other to explore the conceptual idea of movement.

The nature of the composition of the work is inspired by the organic flow of objects and the way in which the eye deconstructs and interprets movement and dance. Etchings ghosted, repeated and mirrored allow for the exploration into the perspectives in which the body and objects are perceived and deconstructed.

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Alexander Gordon Huie

Title of Major Work: Turbulent disorder – Time-Based Forms

My short film is a window into historical violence and uprising as seen in riots and protests throughout time. I have meshed archival footage with my own original soundtrack and filmed images to create an entirely new and anarchic expression of upheaval. The drumbeat and footsteps are symbolic of an individual’s power to impact upon society through the power of protest and a singular voice.

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Anastasia Harris

Title of Major Work: Mixed business collection of works

My body of work has been inspired by urban decay and the ever-changing nature of a streetscape. There are four different buildings depicted in my body of work, each is from a different area of Sydney. The black and white base illustrates how the base of a building will often stay the same for decades while the colourful aspects illustrate the parts of a streetscape that can change rapidly, or those that have decayed.

My work brings light to the places that many of us drive past every day but have never paid any attention to and explores points of interest in areas that would usually go unnoticed.

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Jack Holden

Title of Major Work: Pleroma – Drawing

My body of work centres around a comic inspired illustration that embodies my existential view of life, consciousness, death and my place in it. The work depicts the top half of the skull of a bird, an ape and a human skull with a contrasting, bright emblem between the bird and the ape skulls.

The emblem in question is a combination of the Jungian image of the ego and the gnostic diagram of the pleroma, a representation of all of god’s emanations and power. By combining the two I am equating the ego to the gnostic idea of the demiurge, a deity who believes it is the Abrahamic god out of ignorance of its own true nature.

This is a metaphor for how the ego part of ourselves is often what we define yourself as even though in nature the ego is completely superficial and often ends up doing more harm than good by deceiving us. Above the pleroma is the human and ape skull. The human skull represents the Inevitability of death in this work much like many other cultures. The ape skull represents the base primal  urges that we all possess on a purely physical level. Below the emblem, the bird skull represents the skull in reference to the Egyptian depiction of the human soul. This encompasses the entire essence of a person on a higher level including their actions, memories and desires. 

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Andree Mackenzie

Title of Major Work: The shadow exploded – Photomedia

My body of work The shadow exploded is a series of 18 film stills inspired by female horror movie cliches seen in Brian de Palma’s Carrie (USA, 1976) and the work of Luciano Tovoli, an Italian cinematographer who worked on classic Italian horror films such as Suspiria (Italy, 1977) and Tenebrae (Italy, 1982). 

It explores the reclamation of female power achieved through the victim to villain character trope. My series is a contemporary interpretation of this popular character arc seen portrayed by female protagonists in horror films such as Carrie , Midsommar (USA, 2019) and Jennifer’s Body (USA, 2009).

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Alek Markovski

Title of Major Work: Sonium – Graphic Design

My work, Sonium, explores the inter machinations of dreams and the beauty that emerges from them. Through the use of digital painting, I created my own dream-like world where a tiny character travels through different biomes to present a story-like experience to the audience. The character symbolises the adventure that people experience whilst dreaming.

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Astrid McKinley

Title of Major Work: Nanette – Drawing

Childhood is marked and decorated by the external inspiration it is presented. The true beauty of it lies in cosmic imaginations and limitless freedoms. However, as we grow, responsibility and restriction pervades creativity. My work is an exploration of a woman who has eternally exuded monumental grace, shaping my outlook on our cultural existence and personal strength.

Nanette is an ode to a pivotal figure in both my physical and spiritual growth and development. The figure’s presumptuous position alludes to her wild youth which is juxtaposed by a floral printed wallpaper. Thus representing the duality of her liability as a role model yet inner cheek and spontaneity. My work is ultimately an intimate portrayal of both memory and discovery.

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Eve Mitchell-James

Title of Major Work: Evanescence – Drawing

My body of work, Evanescence, explores the ever-pressing notion of the process of ageing with a specific focus on the coming and going of memories. The collection of three charcoal portraits are an attempt to capture the highly emotive moments of exploring past memories. These are accompanied by a series of dramatic charcoal cloud drawings which symbolise the fleeting nature of memories and experience. 

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Christopher Morehen

Title of Major Work: Untitled (Snapshot) – Painting

This pair of paintings is inspired by both Modernist abstraction and the traditions of portraiture. The main figure of the man is symbolic of a progressive society, his static body frozen while his arm moves through space. The fragmented study depicts the character taking a photograph of himself via a remote shutter release, while the second painting illustrates the camera itself. In a monochromatic, post-industrial world, a spectrum of colours suggest an even more exciting and transformative future.

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Piper Morrissey

Title of Major Work: Ditch the witch – a collection of works

My BOW addresses the villainisation of powerful women of the 20th Century, critiqued by patriarchy as hysterical figures. Using a mixture of printmaking techniques, clay manipulation, and sculptural influences, I challenge conventions of the art world in my interpretation of these icons. My collection of works is intentionally aged, with missing parts, and broken off pieces

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Tea-Anna Murrin

Title of Major Work: The emancipation of femininity – Photomedia

The Emancipation of femininity explores the cultural shift in gender expectations and its move to a more fluid nature, fighting against toxic masculinity. The photographs demonstrate traditional feminine ideals while subverting it by having a male pose for the works.

The form figures inspired by Art Nouveau depict the traditional ideals of feminine qualities. The two points accompanying the photographs have the four dresses discarded upon the, and on the floor, depicting the shedding of these ideals and pushing against the traditional.

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Annabelle O’Reilly

Title of Major Work: Echoes of being – Painting

My work explores the concept of memory, and the way someone’s essence can remain in objects and places even after death. Like memories, watercolour can show the most vibrant, intricate detail, but can also be blurred and cloudy. Every plant and relic within the paintings is significant to me, and to my experience of growing up and losing a parent. The landscape of Echoes of being is dreamlike, almost a fairyland, yet also weighed down by all the memories and nostalgia it holds.

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Maximus Stolikas

Title of Major Work: Erosion – Sculptures

My sculpture Erosion is a collection and representation of the human body and its delicacy, as well as a focus on humanity’s slow decay, abnormalities, and ultimately death.

 My body of work includes various intricate bones such as the jaw, femur, ribs, arm, shoulder, pelvis and eye socket with a facial structure. Originally, the idea of my skeletal pieces was to be as anatomically correct as possible, however as I created and shaped my works, I began to vary the proportions, conveying both human and inhuman, monstrous beings.

I used paper clay, which is very malleable, while white vinegar created cracks and ageing of the bones, alluding to the idea of immense decay and disintegration over time. The fragility of the lonely, ravaged and disconnected pieces assists the aesthetic largely, as one small incorrect movement can cause fracture.

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Nicholas Strafiotis

Title of Major Work: What A Good Friday – Paintings

My body of work is a collection of stencil cut outs spray painted on a single cardboard box cut in half. The artwork is a rendition of Jesus on the cross and highlights the peculiarity of religion. I depict Jesus dead on the cross, with Mary alone clouded in misery and people looking at the dead body.

By having everyone transfixed on Jesus except for one person, I exhibit how people try to orient their lives around pleasing these “higher” beings and by having the person look away he is just as mighty as those gods/deities because he is dictating his life for himself and no one else. With the addition of the two other Jesus’ with increasingly odder colour schemes I display the idea of how bizarre religion can get the deeper one looks into it.

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Zoe-Mo Varga

Title of Major Work: Blank stares – Drawing

My body of work, Blank stares, is a series of vector portraits on embossed paper. The five portraits are abstract renditions of respected women within my life, presenting them as doll-like figures with expressionless faces and vulnerable stances. The embossed details in each portrait align directly with a questionnaire I crafted surrounding individual struggles and experiences in regard to the conflict between femininity and anger.

I aim to question each woman’s authority in society by forcing the audience to confront the subtle and passive aggressors of suppressed femininity. Comparisons to paper dolls and political iconography help the audience understand the intentions behind each work and convey a personal significance to the meaning of the piece as a whole.

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Miah Walker

Title of Major Work: Piper – Painting

My painting is based on a digitally modified photograph I took of my friend Piper. Using the stylistic device photomontage and collage, I have created a new character with a snarling, almost animalistic face.

With antler-like arms growing from her head, this character confronts the viewer with recognisable gestures of hostility. The cold blue form is engulfed by a fiery orange backdrop. The world around her glows with the same orange rage that burns in her eyes.

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Chloe Walsh

Title of Major Work: The transatlantic trade – Collection of Works

The connection between slavery and textiles, both in a modern and historical context is explored in my work The transatlantic triangle. Through mimicking of dutch wax cotton prints, an iconically African style of print, with a unique and interesting historical context now being key in the vibrant and lively fashion and textile culture of Africa, I have explored the place African people and culture have within textiles while connecting it through symbolism in my prints to slavery both in the historical sense and the more contemporary sense within the textile industry throughout Asia, a continent the dutch wax cotton prints were originally marketed towards.

Overall, my piece makes connections between the past and present and the textile industries relationship with both Africa and slavery to point out the white theft of minorities cultures and ideas for profit.

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Allegra Welsh

Title of Major Work: Adfectus – Painting

My body of work is representative of a dark period of my life during which I struggled with negative emotions and mental illness. My first piece depicts a broken mirror, imagery which is reflective of feelings of body dysmorphia and having a fragmented view of oneself. The second piece depicts things I am afraid of, such as moths, cockroaches, snakes and spiders flowing out of the body, intending to represent a fear of the negative feelings which lurk inside all of us.

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Eva-Marie Workman

Title of Major Work: Sculpture

The concept depicts regular people in society and how we intuitively create narratives based on our perception of what they look like. My work invites the audience to build their own unconscious relationship with the stranger through the intimate relationship of the sculpting process, the person then comes to life.

I explore aspects of what a person looks like and what that means to us, and little details that create narratives. Our ability to build analytical narratives upon strangers based on appearances is a fascinating concept.

The minute details in a person that can reflect a whole lifetime, things we don’t notice in ourselves, can tell our life journeys based upon our intuitive nature based on perspectives. Our yearning for connection inspires how we present ourselves to the world, to be understood to be known by others, our need and urge to build bonds is so apparent yet society doesn’t always pay enough attention to the little details … The beauty in age, smile lines, wrinkles, pain, trauma, isolation, the little joys, and moments.

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