Everyone has a creative outlet, be it through painting masterpiece replicas of ‘Starry Night’ or simply writing your thoughts in a journal before you go to bed. I have a mixture of creative outlets that I frequently engage in, from teaching myself a new song on piano, going to dance and singing classes or even just writing a blog post.
Throughout year 11 and 12, my art teacher allowed me to express myself through the focus of ART. After a dozen written artist essays, two dozen experimental creative tasks and a handful of successful body of works, I realised that I had gradually developed and refined my own personal aesthetic. I recognised that all of my artworks had a consistent unity, and could be described using the same words: contemporary, superimposed, digital photography, water-colour, triptych, collage, environmental, shapeless…
A body of work (BOW) is a collection of artworks an artist has produced that reflects their personal style, and here are just three of mine (one of which will be presented in GOMA later this year) :
BOW 1: Pin-Point
Inspired by Alice Wormald, whose artworks distract from sterile galleries by plunging viewers into the natural world, ‘Pin-Point’ documents the destruction of coral reefs through pollution, positioning viewers to desire a change in the current treatment of the environment. Arranged in triangular formations, the three clusters are superimposed layers of paper bark and water-colours which create the impression of a natural underwater paradise tainted by pollution. An overall tense mood of suffocation is created through the dirty shades of blue and light pink as the artwork pin-points the message that Australia’s coral reefs need desperate attention.
BOW 2: Exposed
Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy, ‘Exposed’ explores the negative impact of climate change on coastal erosion, positioning viewers to desire change in the current treatment of the environment. Exposed skin leaks through patches of hessian, combined with layers of moss, leaves and smoky water to create the impression of a rocky ledge being battered by the ocean. The inclusion of the texture of skin within the digitally manipulated photograph allows audiences to feel a personal connection as they recognise that humans are associated with the issue, evoking an overall mood of helplessness which exposes one significant question to viewers: what can I do?
BOW 3: Suffocation: the Plastic Plague
‘Suffocation: the Plastic Plague,’ was inspired by the whimsical artist, Huang Xu, and investigates the economic impact of over-consumed plastic bags in Bangladesh. The artwork invites onlookers to feel the despair of flood victims, hear the roar of unwelcome water and imagine the ubiquitous power of the destructive plastic in order to increase awareness of this devastating environmental issue.
‘Suffocation: the Plastic Plague,’ was selected for display in the Ipswich Art Gallery earlier last year as part of the Creative Generation Visual Arts exhibition. I was beyond excited to see my artwork professionally framed and hung in a gallery, but was even more ecstatic when it was announced that I had won the Creative Generation Visual Arts Excellence Award for 2015. Out of over 500 entrants, thirty student artists won this award and will have their artworks presented in Brisbane’s prestigious Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in May 2016.
Keep your eyes peeled in May for a blog post on my experience being an ‘artist’ in GOMA, and the lengthy process involved in creating the artwork that got me there.