From Carrie Miller…
This year represents the 30th anniversary of ARTEXPRESS. It’s an annual suite of exhibitions of the best artworks created by students for the Higher School Certificate. As a representation of the standard of individual works, the display also reveals something of the visual arts curriculum in NSW. This year suggests students were exposed to a broad variety of subject matter, approaches, styles as well as media, including ceramics, painting, photo-media, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, graphic design, textiles and fibre, and some time-based media.
It’s a strong collection – one that’s suggestive of the emerging art you might see in artist-run spaces around the city. It’s difficult to tell whether this indicates the work has been heavily influenced by recent visual art or if it just happens to connect with the broader tendencies that come about in contemporary art generally.
The collection travels to a number of galleries but a good way to see it is at the Art Gallery of NSW. In addition to displaying the works, the Gallery has added a curatorial twist by connecting them to related works in the Gallery’s own collection. Some of these connections are obvious – in the case of sculptural works reminiscent of Howard Arkley and a painting that suggests the work of Del Kathryn Barton. Others are a bit of a stretch, particularly a fuzzy work that should apparently remind us of the great Gerhard Richter but looks more like a Lloyd Rees.
Overall, it’s an impressive first go around for these teenage artists. It’s a show which could represent our next generation of artists. Or merchant bankers.
Until April 14
The Art Gallery of NSW, the Domain
Pic: Natasha Capstick, Time Between Times, 2012, photomedia.