Top Art Exhibition - Painting


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Ashleigh Horrell, Ashburton College 

My plans for 2012:

I am currently attending CPIT’s Bachelor of Design, Visual Arts course.

Information about my work: ‘Rabbits of War'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

The idea of my portfolio was simply rabbits, but then what were my rabbits going to portray? Rabbits hunting? Rabbits going to war? This whole idea got me thinking about the human aspects of men hunting rabbits so I put my rabbits in military dress. They are now at war with their own kind and soon enough have their own evolution and have lost their identity completely.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used mixed media, brush application.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

Highpoints were the time I spent working on the portfolio; it was worth the time to get the Excellence result in the end.

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Benjamin Foster, Rathkeale College

My plans for 2012:

Heading to Canterbury University to study first-year Engineering.

Information about my work: ‘Cadbury Inquisition’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I started off with an initial investigation of the Cadbury crème egg, Star Wars monster, brains and Commando comics. I developed these ideas through art and political history, finding connections with the loose idea I had of a war between good and evil. I looked at historical events where one group of people had been dominated, exploited and controlled by another group.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Mixture of graphic media, ink, pencil, mono-printing, acrylic paint, and collaged tissue paper.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

High points were seeing the paintings evolve as new ideas were discovered.

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Bronte Heron, New Plymouth Girls' High 

My plans for 2012:

As I was in year 12 in 2011, I will be going back to school for NCEA level three.

Information about my work: ‘When he lost his marbles’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

It all stemmed from ‘Where the wild things are’, a picture book about escaping into your imagination. I saw this as a way to create a refuge for people. I’m also interested in drawing faces, especially those of the elderly. By combining these two ideas, I came up with the theme of an old man ‘loosing his marbles’, or going crazy.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used mainly oil paint, but also charcoal, tea stains and pencil.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

My portfolio eventually developed to show a sense of surrealism, which I didn’t expect, but it fits with the idea of insanity and an alternate reality.

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Grace Pickford, Pukekohe High School 

My plans for 2012:

Bachelor of Arts at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, Auckland.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

My original thoughts when beginning my work were around death, memento mori and 16 th century vanitas paintings, however as the folio progressed I began focusing on the idea of ‘fading’ death, what happens to the memory of a person over time. This lead me to my interest in old family photographs, the stains, fading and discolouring that happens over time and how this process is similar to that of forgetting a person.

I looked at artists such as Christian Boltanski [contempory French sculptor, photographer, painter and film maker], who approached death neither in fear full or aggressive way, instead of honesty and with a curiosity.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Because I was working from photographs that were personal to me, I found it important to capture correctly the people I was depicting. I worked in oil paints throughout my entire board as they enabled me to put the time into my work necessary to achieve the realism I was after. The processes of photography and photographs themselves were very important in my thematic ideas and concepts.

I became very interested in the relationship between painting and photography, how the two have affected each other over time, in particular the shift away from the realistic painting after the invention of photography.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

Before I started this folio of work I considered myself a sketcher, and was never interested in painting. My high point would definitely have been trying oil paints for the first time, at the beginning of the year. I immediately found that the qualities of oil, such as slow-drying and ability to rework, suited perfectly with my working style.

Trying a new medium was something I used to avoid, but seeing how much I have developed as an artist after trying oil has lead me to be open to any mediums, always trying them out and being patient with myself as I learn them.

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Ellena Young, Mahurangi

My plans for 2012:

I am currently studying at Victoria University of Wellington doing a Bachelor of Architectural Studies. I have plans to travel after I have finished my course and work overseas. I will then complete my masters degree to become a fully qualified Architect.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

The overall theme of my art board was the shoreline and sea. I focused on many different aspects of this topic in the series throughout my boards. I tried to examine the shapes and colours of shells and other natural items, contrasting them with the undesirable man made contributions to the shoreline.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

As the boards progressed I began to mix the forms of different natural and man made items focusing on the impact that they have on the coastal environment and the way that nature absorbs them into the landscape.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

Toward the end of my work I began to experiment with different materials and combining the different developments amongst the series.

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Jane Warren, Rathkeale College 

My plans for 2012:

Studying agri-commerce at Massey University.

Information about my work: ‘Global Revolution in a Parallel Universe’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

Ideas of a futuristic world combating issues/ideas from the past; all about the contrast between worlds.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used layering of paint and a finish of Gesso Primer, and then using a blade and rubber cut into and scraped out a network of lines. The base colour was red, this is what shows through. The red was mixed with calcite to make it thicker.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

I was already using the idea of container cranes and containers when ‘The Rena’ oil disaster occurred – this was an interesting issue for me, I used the idea of the bending containers on the ship in my paintings along with the spilt oil on the water – part of the issues of a global revolution.

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Jemma Russell, St Hilda's Collegiate School 

My plans for 2012:

Commencing a degree in Finance and Marketing.

Information about my work: ‘Polynation’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I began by painting things I liked to paint – colourful rural New Zealand landscapes, and still life. I developed the paintings by using the abstract qualities of the beehive, such as the geometric rectangle shapes and lines. Then I began using the bee as a metaphor for transformation (inspired by Michael Height, a self-taught New Zealand artist) to combine rural scenes with city landscapes, and also as a means of travel.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I painted in acrylic, but also used wood and paper samples to relate to the beehive and postage.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

I found it interesting the way the story of my paintings began to pan out as my works developed. I had no idea how it would all fit together, but in the end it all made sense.

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Rose Dryland, Fairfield College 

My plans for 2012:

I am having a break in study this year and I am working instead. In 2013 however I plan to study either Visual Arts at Auckland University of Technology or Architecture at Auckland University. I am taking this time off to determine which stream of art I would like to get into.

Information about my work: ‘Family Legacy’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

The concept of my portfolio began with my interest in family history, and several objects which had belonged to my grandparents. These gave an insight into their character and aspects of their lives that were not known to me. Letters my grandfather wrote to his mother during the war capture his young personality which I was never able to witness.

I discovered throughout this process how much I was influenced by my ancestors and how I would not be the person I am today without them. I am delighted to be able to preserve these aspects of history through my artwork and I hope to have honoured my ancestors through my portfolio.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I began my portfolio with observational drawing to give a realistic portrayal of my chosen objects. I completed these drawing studies in pen/ pencil and pen and wash. The remainder of my portfolio was painted with acrylic paint to give an enhanced sense of reality.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

A highpoint of this process was determining the direction that I would take with my concept. After this I had many ideas that I wished to pursue through the development of my work. Another highpoint was completing my portfolio so that now I have a collection of work that may itself become part of my family legacy one day.

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Tahiwi Trenor-Hunt, Horowhenua College 

My plans for 2012:

This year I will begin studying Fine Arts with Honours, majoring in illustration at Massey University.

Information about my work: ‘Te Tai Tiaki'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

At the time I was feeling quite nervous yet excited about going to university and becoming more independent. I was sad to be moving away from Hokio beach and my parents for the first time. I expressed these emotions throughout this opus.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used acrylic paints for all of the pieces. Some also feature newspaper and cardboard. A lot of the techniques used were inspired by my favourite artists.

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Taylor Annabell, St Cuthbert's College 

My plans for 2012:

In 2012 I have a Vice-Chancellor’s scholarship for Auckland University of Technology and I am doing a Communications degree.

Information about my work: 'Natural disasters and floods’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I began exploring the subject matter of floods through media images and responded to this in an environmental manner. Then, aided by artistic references, I began to stylise the floods and took the floods out of the environment through creating my own scene with models. 

Through these models my work began to take on its own momentum with each painting leading onto the next, ending with the domestication of the flood, in that it becomes part of the kitchen table.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

The work is mainly oil painting with experimentation with creating texture using gesso, whiting, ink and acrylic paint. I explored different ways of interpreting the flood including stylising the found images as well as taking my own photographs of model scenes and manipulating them which gave me greater control over the direction of the work.

Highs and lows that arose during the production of my work:

The most important issue was how I would extend the work past a re-creation of the flood landscapes and how I would take real ownership of the work if I was restricted by the images presented by the media.

The boards are the way that I attempted to move beyond this and make a comment on floods, particularly through my use of models and the domestication of the landscape. This I believe was a very successful conclusion because it returned to where I began: looking at floods in the newspaper at the breakfast table.

 

 
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