Student art exhibition sketches bold new horizons

STUNNING: Shoalhaven Regional Gallery gallery officer, Bridget MacLeod with Brigitte Sharpe, of Kiama High School's work, First People, 2020. This work won the 2021 Shoalhaven Art Society Award for Excellence.
STUNNING: Shoalhaven Regional Gallery gallery officer, Bridget MacLeod with Brigitte Sharpe, of Kiama High School's work, First People, 2020. This work won the 2021 Shoalhaven Art Society Award for Excellence.

Students from high schools across the region have illuminated new horizons for their HSC art exhibition.

The New Horizons exhibition is on display at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery Berry Street, Nowra until March 6, and contains works from students at Bomaderry High School, Kiama High School, Nowra Anglican College, Nowra High School, Shoalhaven High School, St John the Evangelist Catholic High School, Ulladulla High School and Vincentia High School.

The artwork pictured above, by Brigitte Sharpe, of Kiama High School, wont the 2021 Shoalhaven Art Society award for excellence.

Brigitte said her work explored the injustices associated with a glorified version of the history of colonisation in Australia.

"Captured in my work 'First People' is the rejection of Indigenous history and the infiltration of European culture," Brigitte said.

"Often the history of the mistreatment of Indigenous people is masked with a false sense of heroic endeavour.

"This piece brings to light how Indigenous customs have been appropriated at the cost of a loss of a 60,000-year culture.

"In the face of adversity, the treasured Indigenous culture lives on, and this land we walk upon always was, and always will be Indigenous land."

The faces of Indigenous peoples were created by using a continuous line drawing as the foundations for the wire sculpture.

The wire sculpture was further detailed with embroidery into selected critical features on the faces.

Wool and embroidery thread were utilised across a range of earthy tones representative of the sacred Indigenous land.

"The contrasting nature of the European history of fine needlework and the tones of Indigenous land are used to show the westernisation of Indigenous culture and history," Brigitte said.

"My work draws inspiration from artists Jai Vasicek, Matisse, Picasso, Candice Bees, Gavin Worth, Lauren DiCicco and Lynn Skordal."

'First People' predominantly lies in the cultural and postmodern frame as it reflects on the history of colonisation and Indigenous culture whilst using contemporary materials to convey these themes."

The exhibition opened on February 6 and will run until Saturday, March 6.

The Shoalhaven Regional Gallery in Berry Street, Nowra is open Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday 10am-2pm. The gallery is closed Sunday, Monday and public holidays.

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This story Student art exhibition sketches bold new horizons first appeared on South Coast Register.