Visual Arts

Hunter students shine in ARTEXPRESS exhibition of outstanding Visual Arts works from last year’s Higher School Certificate | Newcastle Herald

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CLIMATE activist Alexa Stuart never had to ask herself what she wanted to explore in her Visual Arts major work. “I always knew I couldn’t do anything but climate change,” said Alexa, 17. “It’s something I’m so passionate about and I do spend so many hours on it outside of school with activism and things like that, so I saw this as a chance for me to be able to express my thoughts on that topic.” Her collection of works – which comprises a painting on a timber door inspired by Picasso’s Guernica and an audio recording of news coverage – was based on her reaction to last summer’s bushfires. It shows orange flames, a firefighter, a woman carrying a koala, suits holding coal and signs with the word hope. “I remember feeling ‘This is what climate change looks like’,” she said of the fires. “It was the first time that it really hit home for me that we are feeling the effects of climate change now. “That’s what I really wanted to represent in my work, the feeling of being so overwhelmed.” Alexa said COVID-19 had largely pushed the bushfires and climate change to the side. “The message I want people to take away is to recognise that we’re already starting to feel the effects of climate change and unless we take massive action that’s only going to get worse.” Alexa is one of three Lambton High students whose works have been selected for ARTEXPRESS 2021, a showcase of extraordinary bodies of work from last year’s Higher School Certificate. Alexa’s At Your Door and her classmate Ravelle Eaton’s Forsaken Land are among 48 hanging in the Art Gallery of NSW, which also includes Callaghan College Jesmond student Haylee Mills’ Aboriginal Bush Medicine. Fellow Lambton student Sophie Berghout’s work has been selected for the ARTEXPRESS exhibition at Maitland Regional Art Gallery from February 27. The Lambton trio were among eight at their school to complete Visual Arts as an accelerated course under their teacher Sharna Leman. They’ll complete their other HSC subjects this year. Alexa said she had travelled to Sydney in the past to see ARTEXPRESS and was “thrilled” to see her “absolute dream” of selection become a reality. Ravelle, 17, said selection had been a major goal for her too. “I still have not processed it, it’s so incredible that I made it here,” she said. Ravelle’s work was inspired by the construction of the light rail track. It comprises dry point etching prints of photographs she took in the CBD, mounted on six separate boxes. Her artist’s statement said the work “explores deserted, urban architectural spaces that have been either discarded or renewed in recent times”. She aimed to comment on the “ever-evolving nature of urban development and the social and emotional isolation in my local community”. For faster access to the latest Newcastle news download our NEWCASTLE HERALD APP and sign up for breaking news, sport and what’s on sent directly to your email. IN THE NEWS:


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