As we prepare to celebrate GOMA’s tenth birthday, it’s interesting to see that many of the works in this year’s Awards draw on the repeated motif of memory.
Memories – digital, flooded and spliced – abound as subjects for this year’s work. A wonderful example – Alex Boundy’s Royal, a moving video portrait the artist’s great–grandmother, considers the great wealth or memories we accumulate in a lifetime, and their ephemeral nature.
Alex Boundy, Varsity College / Royal
Artist Statement: This is Una Royal Price, my 96-year-old great-grandmother; loved by her 11 children, 23 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren and two greatgreat-grandchildren. I call her GG. A week after filming, she was moved from her home of 42 years. My grandmother had never seen her cry, until then. Her life stories are locked behind a wall of dementia; stories of two world wars and the Great Depression. She lost a husband, four children and her mother at birth. Before she died, her mother gave her the middle name ‘Royal’. Maybe she knew that, one day, GG would be our queen.
Other overarching themes in this year’s exhibition include childhood, home and identity; human experience, religion and beliefs; and environmental and societal commentary.
The works on display were selected in 2015 from senior visual art students across the state and have great regional scope, from the Far North to the Gold Coast to the Darling Downs. The entry wall to the exhibition proudly displays the 33 artists’ names and their districts.
These artists were selected from a total of 522 entries submitted by students from regional and metropolitan schools. Their works are representative of the interplay between concept and process in senior visual art classrooms throughout Queensland.
It is pleasing to see there has been a steady increase of students visiting the Creative Generation exhibition in recent years, reflecting the high value that schools – and students – are placing on the visual arts. Schools are encouraged to visit this year’s Awards to continue the upward trend.
The role of the teachers cannot be undervalued in preparing the artists for selection. The relationships that are fostered throughout the school community – from teacher to student to family – were alive and well at the recent opening of the exhibition.
Mr Mark Ryan, Assistant Minister of State Assisting the Premier, officially opened the Awards, and congratulated all the artists on the incredible achievement of having their work displayed in a Gallery of such international standing – something many artists aspire to achieve but never have the opportunity.
This year, the Awards feature an interactive digital catalogue with artwork information and images – the individual artist statements are also displayed throughout the space. Teachers and students can download a copy of the Artists’ Statements to explore before a class excursion.
These young people represent the artists and creative thinkers of the future and it’s exciting to see them exploring and engaging with visual culture and ideas.
Matthew Harvey, Bray Park State High School / Unharnessed
Artist Statement: Everybody has an identity which not only defines who we are, but sculpts how we think and feel. This artwork reflects my background, having spent much of my childhood on rural properties. This drawing of a cow halter represents what has become a significant aspect of my identity as a young person living and working in a rural environment. After viewing the work of CJ Hendry, I was inspired to create a large scale drawing. I have created tonal contrast using black fine point pens and a stippling technique.
William Mather, Brisbane Grammar School / Goodnight, I’ll stay here
Artist Statement: I like to perceive my home and the people in it as being within a state of static peacefulness. In my series, Goodnight, I’ll stay here, I explore this concept through a focus of voyeurism and contrasting images of occupancy and vacancy, which evoke a feeling of peace. I drew inspiration from artist Gregory Crewdson when taking these photos. Although I’m not Aboriginal Australian, I pay homage to the works of some favourite Aboriginal artists, such as Lin Onus, by reflecting my own spiritual connection towards my home within my hand-stippled recreation of the contained atmosphere represented.
Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art
View the exhibition at GOMA until 14 August 2016.
The Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art is an initiative of the Department of Education and Training, supported by QAGOMA