Art Rules In Sydney: Open Letter From The Public Programs And Education Officer

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Art Rules In Sydney: Open Letter From The Public Programs And Education Officer Eustacia Salim, Canterbury Girls High School, Fleeting Love (detail), 2018, Photomedia.

Art Rules is Hazelhurst Arts Centre’s annual exhibition of local Higher School Certificate students’ work from the Visual Arts examination.

It's a chance for young people to express their concerns and thoughts about contemporary issues and talking points like consumerism, love, extinction, unsung heroes, queer people and women.

Here, Hazelhurst Arts Centre's Public Programs And Education Officer Stephanie Bray writes an open letter about the event.


“This year the show turns 18 and like so many of the students exhibiting, it’s really coming of age. This exhibition showcases students in a gallery context and reflects the issues that are of importance to them. The works are not mark related, rather they are chosen because of the way students have engaged with their subject matter. Art Rules showcases works without censorship, works that teenagers will genuinely connect with, expressing their interests and concerns. We also see students interacting with media is some innovative and edgy ways.

This year students have tackled issues such as love in the age of consumerism, social media, the environment, animal welfare and queer identity. Topics that can be very hot!

Fleeting Love, 2018 by Eustacia Salim from Canterbury Girls High School asks what is love and what makes us happy? Eustacia says: 'My artwork revolves around human nature to fill the void within us with ephemeral things: money, beauty, social media, gaming. Ostensibly seductive, these materialistic things control us and fill our heads ... So, what is love?'


Matisse’s Garden, 2018 by Matisse Whyte from St George Christian School considers our relationship with nature, stating: 'My artwork … visually discusses humanity’s growth in maturity and wisdom as you age, from a feeble deer to a wise owl. This is my contemporary take on the concept of the Garden of Eden, as we humans are first introduced to the world as one with nature.'

Dawn of Extinction, 2018 by Bridie Newton from Gymea Technology High School focuses on the horrific inflictions of illegal poaching and hunting upon native African wildlife, exposing how our growing greed for wealth and power replaces morals and ethics. Bridie says: 'My work shows this escalating problem. The once upon a time flourishing beauty of the world has now become damaged and scarred from our actions.'


De Profundis ('from the depths' – Latin), 2018 by Ria Stephenson from Blakehurst High School says: 'My work explores the historical suppression of queer people who were forced to ‘live between the lines’ of society. My work is influenced by my personal identity and love of literature – particularly Oscar Wilde. I explore the sanctuary associated with symbols and their value in queer history and to achieve this I have appropriated the works of Caravaggio, Jacques-Louis David and Felix Gonzales-Torres to explore themes of martyrdom, unacknowledged death and grief.'”
– Stephanie Bray

Art Rules is on at the Broadhurst Gallery, Hazelhurst Arts Centre, 15 December-20 January.


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