Scholarship painting exemplars - 2017

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Outstanding Scholarship

(click icon images to see a large version in a new window)

Panel 1 (JPG, 1.3MB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 1.3MB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 1.2MB)

Entire Folio (JPG, 3.7MB)

Sample Workbook pages

Sample page 1 (JPG, 4.7MB)

Sample page 2 (JPG, 5.1MB)

Sample page 3 (JPG, 4.9MB)

Sample page 4 (JPG, 4.8MB)

Sample page 5 (JPG, 5.3MB)

Sample page 6 (JPG, 4.6MB)

Sample page 7 (JPG, 4.4MB)

Sample page 8 (JPG, 4.2MB)

This Painting Outstanding Scholarship submission presents a quiet, subtle and critical engagement with abstraction. There is a focus on image making and the potential for an experimental action to create a series of ‘marks’ and therefore an image. The candidate's interest in abstraction is drawn from their love of science and art. They are working with ideas about materials (material agency and contingency) and trace as a means to develop their art making using ephemera-based media and found materials.

There is an incredible sense of ownership, so much so that the artworks presented on the folio are convincing as ‘contemporary art'. For example, everything literally comes from the world around them - the artwork is actually made from the ephemera of their everyday, and they talk about it in these terms (refill paper found in the classroom, tape from previous activities or use). They also recognise the visual potential of found printed matter and surfaces, and consequently engage in a process of selective editing to make work. Of note is this candidate’s ability to distinguish the beauty and subtlety of a ‘thing' to be a mark and to take that into a nuanced conversation that both authorises and constantly questions: what constitutes an authentic mark, gesture or trace?

The surfaces and layering in individual works are incredibly subtle (this may not be completely apparent in the photographs of the folio and workbook). For example, there are crinkles, folds, layers, transparent surfaces as well as softer textures like packing material and raw canvas – materials and imprints that act as themselves, but are considered part of the image/composition. The candidate’s scientific interest is communicated through the experimental nature of the making and visualisation of that as motif and composition. They are exploring painting systems through points of discovery, like paint bleed (act of soaking into surface), staining, transparencies, found structures, framing devices and stencilling, along with the history of the actual mark-making within an image. All of this can be seen as evidence of chance encounters with media, i.e. the various processes that have taken place are visible in the artwork.

Chance is recognised as a conceptual and methodological tool. The candidate's own reaction to media is a key method in the work. They are using their ability to read/respond as a strategy for identifying something as having potential to be a mark or be ‘art’ and as the means to develop the next proposition. What is recognised previously in one artwork then becomes a tactic to engage or re-engage with new passages of making.

As the folio progresses, the enquiry becomes more convincing. This is reflected through the decisions made such as to include or exclude works on the folio. The critical ordering, refinement and editorial processes conceptually position the direction of the thinking. Processes of mark-making operate within a temporary realm - they are contingent and to an extent rely on cause and effect, such as staining through paper onto another surface. The candidate is constantly reflecting on their learnings and discoveries; this is an active relationship that is spurred on by their own making and which unfolds through sophisticated making process.

With this submission, the folio and workbook holistically act as two equivalent sites of evidence. The workbook reveals the extent of the intellectual engagement and is as such one of the best examples we have seen of a performance across workbook and folio. The investigation is well-grounded in the practice of making and the artistic genres and theoretical discourse the candidate is referencing – and there is a strength in the contextual links established between their enquiry and the artwork of key artists, which is an extensive gathering and laying out of an intellectual neighbourhood of contemporary thinking and practice.


(click icon images to see a large version in a new window)

Panel 1 (JPG, 1.9MB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 1.9MB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 2.1MB)

Entire Folio (JPG, 5.9MB)

Sample Workbook pages

Sample page 1 (JPG, 3MB)

Sample page 2 (JPG, 2.9MB)

Sample page 3 (JPG, 3.1MB)

Sample page 4 (JPG, 2.7MB)

Sample page 5 (JPG, 3.2MB)

Sample page 6 (JPG, 3.3MB)

Sample page 7 (JPG, 3MB)

This Painting Scholarship submission is inspired by the candidate’s childhood interest in watching science fiction movies and the interconnected concepts of time, reality and ‘other dimensions’. A personal take on the subject arena is developed through a consistent questioning approach, working with ideas such as memory and déjà vu (both theoretically and practically through composition and reoccurring motifs). The folio enquiry begins its investigation by looking at historical imagery related to points of discovery, invention and philosophy, specifically related to alternate timelines, physics, science and mathematics.

The workbook evidences strong parallel thinking and an extended body of work, including potential works and ideas that were discarded in favour of maintaining the folio focus. Further research into concepts underpinning sci-fi in relation to physics, science and mathematics allows the candidate to investigate a depth of ideas beyond the folio proposition. They are in a sense illustrating abstract notions of time, reality, dimensionality, déjà vu, parallel universes, butterfly effect and limbo – all of which are analytically discussed and theorised in the workbook. It is the candidate’s innate desire to think through complex ideas that drives this proposition and embeds the time spent on the making. The level and technical application of painting skills supports the nature of this enquiry.

A proposition of alternate timelines propels the protagonist, a teenage boy, through a number of alternate existences. The candidate is exploratory in their development and assembling of imagery appropriate to the topic; they recreate a desert landscape reminiscent of scenes from “Planet of the Apes” as a series of “alternative universes containing an alternate timeline” that repetitively features (with small additions or deletions) as the background or site where various scenes take place in order to establish a sense of déjà vu.

A surrealist approach is incorporated by referencing a range of artists in combination with contemporary illustration, film and graphic novels. New phases of painting are generated by analysis and reflection on previous scenarios and concepts, such as the ‘wormhole’ transportation device that is used on folio panel 1 and reappears as a transitional device throughout the folio becoming a stylistic reference and tool in the communication of the narrative.

The formal qualities of image construction are varied to create a range of visual possibilities within each painting. Considered colour choices also unify and create links between artworks maintaining the storyline aspect. The candidate is clearly operating with criticality in terms of decision making and exploitation of media and style, which changes depending on the nature of each phase of the story. The work develops in a variety of ways through a consistent juggling of attention to narrative, stylistic and compositional characteristics. All of this is held together and executed with a humorous and discerning attitude. They are fully in control of their image making; it is inventive, purposeful and playful.

There is a sense that as a viewer you are accompanying the subject on a journey. This is set up through the constant and active analysis that underpins every decision made in the folio work. The keenness of the candidate to test out and utilise visual language to unpack this theoretical and imaginative proposition is fully realised in this accomplished and experimental painting submission.


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