Top Art Exhibition - Photography

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Abigail Helsby, Trident High School 

My plans for 2012:

Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Teaching at Victoria University of Wellington.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I started off looking at multiple personalities but as the work progressed I realised I was exploring more towards personality/identity in adolescents, teenage boys in particular.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Lots of Photoshop manipulation, Anthony Goicolea [New York-based fine art photographer] , inspired digital montages. Part of the work involved printing and cutting up a full 54-card pack with the model and characters as the suits.

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

The sensitive nature of the work was a big part of how I went about the work. The model in the photographs is my younger brother and I had to be aware of the power of shooting him in such an intimate/vulnerable way, as well as the effect on the people viewing the work with him in his bedroom in his underwear.

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Chelsea Saunders, Hagley Community College

My plans for 2012:

In 2012 I am going to follow my passion and study for a Diploma in Photography at Christchurch Polytechnic Insitute of Technology.

Information about my work: ‘Once upon a time….’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

My original idea was to do a ‘Grimm fairy tale’ theme, but when I started brainstorming, I found that this idea was going to be a big project. So I narrowed it down to five tales, from there I looked at locations, props and storyline and it was clear that this was also going to be a big project!

There was one thing that stood out above the others and I decided to do ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. I brainstormed this theme a lot using lists and flow charts working out people to use, settings, props and storyline.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used my brothers’ 18-month-old German shepherd as the wolf and his fiancée as my ‘Red’. A friend down the road was my Hunter and my Grandmother (the hand shot). The local river bank willows provided the forest, the dog park for running, leaping dog shots and a blank sheet backdrop in our lounge for stills of the hunter.

The cape was a problem at first so I bought eight metres of red and black velvet and made my own cape. I shot hundreds of images then spent many hours selecting and layering them in Photoshop. Using lists of essential images kept me on track while on location.

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

Working with people and animals can be very hard. In my head I knew what I wanted but translating that with the camera was a challenge. Getting a very friendly dog to look like a vicious wolf wasn’t easy. At the dog park and river my brother threw sticks and balls in the air which the dog leapt to catch and it took a fast shutter sped (thank you Canon 40D) to catch it. Running was easier as she loves to fetch.My computer struggled at times with the size of the images.

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James Drummond, Inglewood High School 

My plans for 2012:

I will be working fulltime at T.S.H Audio and Visual, New Plymouth.

Information about my work: 'The Art of Live Music'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

One of my ideas was to use silhouettes. I used it midway in board one and brought it back for board three but used a different concept.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I used a wide range of shutter speeds from 1-1000, to 30 seconds to allow me to get the right amount of light.

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

On the back of the folio are some signatures; they belong to John Butler Trio (the band in the folio). I was lucky enough to be able to take pictures of the gig through my work. Not long ago, John Butler Trio came back to New Zealand to tour, they came to New Plymouth so I took the opportunity to attend the gig and show them my portfolio - they were so impressed with the board that they signed it.

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William Snow, John McGlashan College

My plans for 2012:

I will be studying at Christchurch Polytechnic Insitute of Technology (CPIT) doing a diploma in Photographic Imaging.

Information about my work: ‘Something Fishy’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I did a major study in surrealism artwork. This included photography, films and paintings. Linking surrealism to dreams was an obvious choice for me as the two are similar and work very well together.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Due to the quirkiness of most of the photographs in my art work, heavy use of Photoshop was required. Every single image has been digitally modified and this was a very time consuming process. However I am very happy with the final product and I have gained valuable digital skills for the future.

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

Studying surrealist artists and their work was definitely a high point, it made me realise different ways of expressing my ideas. When working with surrealism, the only limit was imagination.

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Chelsea Thompson, Mairehau High School 

My plans for 2012:

Studying Bachelor of Visual Arts at Otago Polytechnic.

Information about my work: 'Social Decay’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

Hours of trial and error - many thoughts came to mind and I asked a lot of people for their opinions. In the end I referred to artists' models.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Photoshop was used to manipulate images; I made installations to develop my ideas.

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

 It was hard to get to locations due to damage from the earthquake, however, I managed to get my portfolio completed on time.

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Jonathan Allen, St Cuthberts College

My plans for 2012:

Attending Lincoln University to study computing, soil and plant science.

Information about my work: ‘Plough Mans Day'

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

Took a heap of photos and looked at them and thought about how I could change them around and improve them, integrate other ideas, and develop meaning.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Photoshop and just printing photos out and playing around with sizes to help control the importance of the idea in the photograph.

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

A difficulty was to keep motivated and wanting to get back out in the field and take shots. Before I took the course it was a pleasure to take pictures when I felt like it, but it then turned into a chore and it felt like I had to, not that I wanted to. But in the final few weeks I decided to go for it and it paid off with the result of an Excellence.

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Lauren Coetzee, Wellington Girls' College 

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Sarah Allen, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls 

My plans for 2012:

I am going to Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, Auckland this year to do a Bachelor of Fine Arts. At this stage am majoring in Graphic Design but I have also chosen a photography paper too.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I started with the theme of the farm and the decrease in sheep farming over the years. My family have been on the farm for four generations, so I developed my family history along with the decrease of sheep farming. I used bones and using old artist models with rustic techniques to show this. I eventually developed into the products that sheep/wool make.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Materials - old sheep bones found around the farm, bailing twine, old family photos outside the woolshed and of the farm. I used an overhead projector to project photos and bones.

My artist models were Annette Messager, [French installation artist] Mike and Doug Starn [American twins, conceptual artists], and Christian Boltanski [contempory French sculptor, photographer, painter and film maker].

I used the techniques of emulsion transfer, projection, hanging, grid and installation, also experimented with scratching, dripping and stencilling.

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

A high point was doing the installation influenced by Christian Boltanski. I really enjoyed it along with the projection.

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Simone Handtschoewercker, Wakatipu High School 

My plans for 2012:

I plan to study a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in performing arts and minoring in design, at Otago University.

Information about my work: ‘Once upon a reality’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I started out with the theme ‘dream vs reality’ and came up with the concepts that we all have dreams that we wish came true. We all fantasised about becoming a princess when we were younger. Then developed it into now, we use dreams to inspire our future.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I started out taking photos using a Polaroid effect. I used this and dark, surreal colours to create the effect and theme that the character is in a dream.

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

The first panel came along quite fast but I really struggled with panel three, and trying to come up with photos that portrayed the story but could lead onto further development.

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Susie Wang, Wanganui High School 

My plans for 2012:

Bachelor of Law and Commerce (double degree) at the University of Auckland.

Information about my work: ‘Casey’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I got multiple people and framing ideas from a few excellent artist models (I choose those wisely), developed with the help of an amazing photography teacher, lots of thinking and researching and many, many plans.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Many photos were taken using a tripod and lots of Photoshop and patience to get multiple people images.

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

Nothing ever went as planned - did a lot of improvising. Put off taking photos a few times and paid for it towards the end! A highlight was seeing the finished work at the end which was brillian.

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Sophia Olo-Whaanga, Diocesan School for Girls 

My plans for 2012:

This year I am going to University of Auckland to do a Bachelor of Science - majoring in Psychology and specialising in marine science.

Information about my work: ‘Land of my ancestors/Te Whenua o Oku Tupuna’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

Basically I started from the controversial issue of land rights and ownership. To Māori, the land has a strong connection to us, like it is our body - therefore I came up with the idea of detachment and loss of self because of the loss of land - like we are selling our own history and ancestry. I also wanted to bring in the misconception the Treaty - and sovereignty over the land.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

The first pictures I took were of land, and then I went on to scan and process newspaper properties for sale, and Photoshop collage/montage land onto people.

Manually cutting out figures from land. Shaped landform blankets. Taking photos in sunsets to create depth and emotion. I made use of sequence and grid which I was influenced by the property press.

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

As this is close to home, the ideas were felt very strongly, and it was hard to develop works for people non-Māori to understand how my people feel. A low was having to re-do my board because I didn’t feel it was good enough. A high was having the opportunity to educate people about the trader and land values of my people.

Also educating myself by learning even more about what happened – particularly to my family’s land. I enjoyed incorporating legends and making them real – Rangi and Papa Tane.

 

 
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