The wow factor will be on everyone’s lips at Southern Cross University’s annual visual arts exhibition by graduating students in November.
Large scale artworks in painting, printmaking – including a four-metre high print by printmaker John Lockhart – sculpture and video will be on show at the 2016 Graduate Exhibition, opening on November 11 in the Visual Arts V Block at the Lismore campus.
In an intriguing use of material, both Heather Matthews (Honours graduate) and Georgi Milln (third-year graduate) have been exploring banana fibre and turning it into paper, sound recordings and sculptural installation.
Visual arts course coordinator Dr Stephen Garrett, who moved here from Melbourne and will soon clock up his first 12 months at Southern Cross University, said he was proud of all the students.
“Graduate art exhibitions are all about diversity of interests and a full range of art forms that explore student concerns and concepts. This year we have really pushed the students in their ambitions for those ideas, including large scale art works. There is a new energy in the school and I feel this is reflected in the students’ work.”
Dr Garrett said the 2016 student showcase highlighted the strength of visual art in the School of Arts and Social Sciences, the excellent staff and the University’s facilities.
“This year we have rebranded the student exhibition as the Southern Cross University Graduate Exhibition. I believe this reflects the true nature of the event.
“By showcasing the strength of all our graduating students, the public will be able to see the talent and hard work of our third-year and Honours students together for the first time.”
Three prizes will be awarded to students on the opening night of the exhibition:
- Lismore Regional Gallery Graduate Award for an exceptional artwork by a student. The Lismore Regional Gallery provides an exhibition, artist fee and catalogue the following year to help launch the student’s professional practice.
- Southern Cross University Chancellor’s Award for outstanding artwork by a third-year graduating student. The prize is an acquisitive award and the student work goes into the University collection.
- Northern Rivers Community Gallery Award for outstanding artwork. The Northern Rivers Community Gallery, located at Ballina, provides an exhibition the following year.
Highlights of the 2016 Southern Cross University Graduate Exhibition:
Bryce Anderson, painter
Artist statement: This series of paintings is about an interior dialogue both from a physical and psychological stand point. The paintings are autobiographical—responding to the processing of mass imagery and their vast influences on my practice. The ambiguous nature of the narratives portrayed are anchored in familiar forms. It is this state of flux between the tangible and intangible I find compelling.
Meghan Kingsford, sculptor
Artist statement: How we portray ourselves to the outside world does not always reflect who we are within. Like the traditional Matryoshka we have multiple facets inside: the kindness, the anger, the spite, the love, the fear. All the layers that make us who we truly are. Who we are and how others perceive us are often at odds with each other. Appearance doesn’t always reflect what is inside.
John Lockhart, printmaker
Artist statement: This body of work forms part of a site-based practice. It responds to a specific location with a number of techniques in an attempt to describe a sense of place.
Heather Matthew, Honours
Artist statement: Paper Song is an ode to the joy of making paper, a narrative of texture, sound and images, which praises the qualities of paper made from banana fibre. It is a circular song composed of the sounds created from making paper and the sound/water images these create. It is as much about the process of making paper as it is about the paper itself. Each process begets a meditation on interconnection and disparities: sound and silence; absence and presence; vibration and stillness.
Georgi Milln, sculptor
Artist statement: In One’s Skin: Embodiment. Unhinged. Confronted. Abject. Messy. My work is an unravelling, a free-fall, lost in uncertainty with nothing left to grasp on to. Utilising myself as a material, I undertook the making of a full body and its skin, combining the underbelly of the art world: paper and plaster. Reflecting on my response to making—an embodied experience into the material world the skin is front row in the body of experience, confronting an absurd world.
Brooklyn Winter, sculptor
Artist statement: By sculpting the physiognomy of my friends and family, The hunted depicts the sadness and disgust I feel when affronted by the blatant desecration and killing of wild animals in the form of trophy hunting. By using the likeness of my loved ones, I hope to instil a sense of injustice and confrontation within the viewer. My work’s innocent, deathshrouded faces, are a reminder that we are all animals and not ornaments or trophies.
Thanks to presenting partners: LEXSA, Lismore Regional Gallery, Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina Shire Council, The New Camera House, and The Co-op.
2016 Southern Cross University Graduate Exhibition runs from November 11 to 26. Opening night is November 11, 5pm – 8pm. Visual Arts V Block, Lismore campus.