At opening night of the 2020 exhibition, guest speaker, Ms Joanna Strumpf (Direction of Sullivan & Strumpf, Australia and Singapore - Fine Arts Exhibits) expressed her delight in the high calibre of work on exhibition and acknowledged the obstacles students had faced and overcome. She noted that in many ways these challenges, presented by COVID, had created the perfect conditions for making art - pointing out that keeping away from social distractions and spending time alone is what artists do. Furthermore, Joanna shared her insights into the rich and varied experiences of a life dedicated to art as well as the responsibilities and expectations of artists when she said,
'Throughout history artists have been at the forefront of social movements, and so it is natural that artists today are looked to for leadership on social change. Artists are creative and critical thinkers and more and more this is being valued. Artists need not only to be able to discuss their own work, they need to be able to comment on our times, they need to be good public speakers, they need to be ambitious for themselves, but they also need to be compassionate and work within and support their community. They need to be negotiators, grant writers and sometimes even politicians. They need to be able to move within the highest echelons of our society – but also be above it. We expect much of our artists – but to be an artist is to be a very special person in the first place."
In 2020, we were thrilled to celebrate nine ARTEXPRESS nominations for a second year, where outstanding Bodies of Work were acknowledged for their excellence. These included Olivia Antoun’s drawing series Sundowning 6:14 - 18:32, Heidi Watkins complex interior compositions in Passage, Olivia Lam’s works exploring global issues in Run, Hide, Fight, Helena Law’s satirical political portrait works in Not Waving, Drowning and Linda Liu’s Chinese cultural homage in Enduring Light.
Four selected works for ARTEXPRESS 2021 exhibitions were produced by our Art & Design Captain Ariana Galanos for her finely detailed paintings TheCondition Of The Compulsive, Macey Watson’s intricate interior/exterior studies in Counterbalance: the dichotomy of the mundane and the chaotic, Amelia Rader’s ethical fashion examination in The Stitches You Sew and Giselle Wong’s accomplished series exploring baking and wellbeing in Therapy in a Bag of Flour.
We commend and recognise the huge effort and commitment of every one of our students and acknowledged their families for their willingness to accommodate artmaking in their homes which was integral to the realisation of the artworks on show at this wonderful exhibition.