I’d almost consider it a tradition of mine each year to head along to The Gallery to see ArtExpress. It’s always so inspirational to see what young minds are capable of.
Before walking up the stairs into the exhibit, I was joking with my friends that each year there is the standard native Australian rights piece, an artwork about the struggles of living on rural land and the piece about the grief and stress felt during the final year of school… this year was no different.
Let me begin by saying that I feel that all of the artworks are incredible feats of creativity for every artist involved, however this years exhibition left me disappointed. Not to say that these repetitively themed artworks have no place in the exhibition, because they most definitely do. The artistic expression of these ideas is a very important outlet for young minds, but I think that the examiners may lack some imagination when the exhibition is continuously promising the same kind of clichéd art.
The space at The Gallery of NSW was filled with some amazingly talented photography and in particular some astonishingly detailed drawings, however the entire collection lacked colour.
Earthy tones, sepia and black and whites, all expressed these deep, over-thought concepts, furthermore drilling this idea that “one has to be tortured to get marks” into the younger students viewing these works.
I felt a breath of relief when I came across Lochlan Howards artwork called “Love The Home You’re In”, which was a series of intricate, three-dimensional, hanging sculptures, painted with bright, bold colours which really made it stand out amongst the rest. It truly was beautiful art for the sake of making art.
All of this being said, I love seeing not only the creativity but also the refined talents of people who are so young, and ArtExpress proves to be the best environment to showcase this. We’ll see next year if (yet again) my theory proves to be true!
Catch the exhibition at The Art Gallery of NSW from 22nd February – 22nd April and other regional venues.
Feature Image: Moshe Giles Uhrig