Top Art Exhibition - Sculpture

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Abigail Chan, Wellington East Girls' College

My plans for 2014:

Study at Victoria University.

Information about my work: 'Questioning Function’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

My investigation began through looking at artists who recreated objects using different materials, reducing or removing the function of the object. This lead to investigating ways to remove the functions of different objects through materiality, scale, wrapping/covering and deconstruction. Many paper cuts later, I had created several works where the function of the original object was questioned and often removed.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

The main process used in my work was my thought process and coming up with concepts for the work that fit with my idea of removing function. The majority of the materials I used were paper and cardboard, though I often used found objects such as ladders, chairs and tables.

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

A high during the year was seeing my portfolio put together and how my ideas at the beginning of the year had changed and developed into something different.

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Briana Wooliams, Sancta Maria College

Scholarship

My plans for 2014:

2014 will be the first year I attend Elam School of Fine Arts at Auckland University to study a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and I will be spending whatever spare time I have at the Auckland Art Gallery as a member of the newly-formed Youth Advisory Group.

Information about my work: ‘Depths of Dysmorphia’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

Throughout my work I wanted to convey the sometimes overwhelming pressures society can place on an individual and how these pressures influence how a person sees themself. I started with the sense of suffocation by making sure there was always a relationship between the individual and the material. As my work progressed I tried to enable the viewer to think about body dysmorphia, emphasising what I imagine to be a person’s biggest insecurities. Essentially we see what the individual is feeling.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

It was important to use easily accessible materials. There was an interesting relationship between manufactured/plastic materials and the natural body. I used materials such as Glad Wrap, cellotape, paint, paper, stockings and pillows. As my use of material changed, the more abstract the sculptures became. In the initial stages of my work there was a clear definition of the body. I then started to test the physical identity of my models by removing aspects of the body, making it unfamiliar for the viewer to connect the pieces. This represents mental wellbeing and the emotional barriers the models face.

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

A positive would be finding a topic I am really interested in – the human body fascinates me. I spent a lot of time researching the topic by watching documentaries about body dysmorphia, asking people I knew about their own insecurities, observing what the media conveys and how other artists respond to images of the body. Initially I was unsure as to how I would develop my work at all. It came down to a lot of trial and error, seeing what worked and what didn’t. I just thought as abstractly as I possibly could and had to have faith in the process and, more importantly, myself.

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Jasmin Warren, Spotswood College

Scholarship

My plans for 2014:

In 2014 I am working in a florist.

Information about my work:  ‘A Niche’

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

My body of work began with exploring a variety of materials, with some of which I felt a strong association and connection. After living on a farm all my life, I have gained a strong attachment to nature and so wanted to involve it in my work. This led to the concepts for my sculptures. My work explores moss and its niche. Through this I investigated how industrialisation is encroaching on ecological niches, and continued to develop ideas surrounding adaptations, looking at the extreme habitats in which moss can grow and the adaptive radiation of Darwin’s finches. This fed the use of different materials in my sculpture and the exploration of dystopic environments through assemblage sculptures, minimalism and continued industrialisation.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I mainly worked creating assemblage sculptures using raw materials and found objects. I also experimented using clay and creating organic shapes and sculptures. As I developed my ideas further I moved into minimalism to show industrialisation and this then was followed by the full scale assemblage sculptures.

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

Creating my full scale sculptures was one of the most enjoyable parts. Once I had a new idea, finding the means of creating it then putting all the pieces together further inspired and excited me.

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Jessica Toomey, New Plymouth Girls’ High School

Scholarship

My plans for 2014:

Law with a Bachelor of Arts at Victoria University in Wellington.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I began by exploring my interests in scale and various materials, such as natural matter (moss was of particular interest due to its texture and rich colour). This developed into making miniature scenes of landscapes. When combined with collage, it became a debate on pollution and whether it is man-made waste or natural disasters that lead to the destruction of our land. This idea then expanded with the introduction of possum fur, giving my work a New Zealand context.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

My work varies greatly in materials and scale, so defining a particular technique or process is difficult. When beginning a work I would plan it at a space where it was to be photographed in context before addressing the materials I would use. I would do many sketches before starting a work. A lot of my pieces are a matter of trial and error. I don’t aim for perfection.

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

As my work progressed, it became clear to me that I was heading towards a very New Zealand debate on conservation. Introducing possum fur as a material allowed me to explore ideas to do with hunting, 1080 poison and the damage done to our unique native trees by the possum. A low point for me was trying to use my materials as a way of extending my ideas. However, as production went on, I felt my unique style allowed me to stick to limited materials, while still moving on with new and interesting concepts.

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Kara Schoch, Lincoln High School

My plans for 2014:

First year architecture at Victoria University.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

Firstly I looked at the work of Anish Kapoor with the forms and voids in space, focusing on surface texture. I then incorporated the artist model Eva Hesse, which helped me transform the works so that the external surface defined the form itself.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

I mainly used casting plaster moulded around balloons in various ways. I then tried different forms with paper and cardboard. As for the surface texture, I tried glitter, turmeric and eventually cane covered in turmeric, as I found it the most effective with its colour and smell.

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

I was testing the physical properties of the materials I used to their limits; therefore a lot went wrong in the making of some works.

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Lucian Nightingale, Burnside High School

My plans for 2014:

Law at Canterbury University.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I wanted to keep my work simple, limiting it to simple colours and shapes, and then expanded my subject matter later in the folio. I was initially interested in how society is governed by laws which are absolute, but laws are designed to control people who are not absolute, they are changing and dynamic.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Lots of different techniques were used, including limited use of colour, model-making, adapting found materials, installation and use of mobiles. I also used objects as symbols for ideas.

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

An interesting point for me was the performance art because it enabled me to interact and become part of my art work in a way I previously had not.

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Mika Zollner, Wellington East Girls' College

Top Subject Scholarship

My plans for 2014:

Bachelor of Environments at the University of Melbourne in Australia, majoring in environmental engineering.

Information about my work:

Ideas / Concepts / Themes

I have a great interest in the barriers and conventions of architecture and how they can be manipulated, as well as an interest in large-scale, site-specific installation. I began a formal investigation into extension, repetition and reflection in an architectural space.

Techniques / Processes / Materials

Most of the works are constructed from recycled wood or windows I found and then painted to match their surroundings. I also often used cardboard to construct windows or stairs as this was more accessible for a school student. I learnt a lot about basic building techniques, as I was often forced to problem-solve when constructing the larger works.

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

Working site-specifically meant that each work needed to be inspired by the site. This caused some issues around having access to an appropriate site as a school student, and finding sites that encouraged similar conceptual works.

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Sharne Ralston, Chilton Saint James School

My plans for 2014:

Study engineering at Canterbury University.

 

 
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