Top Arts 2021, a showcase of forty-six artworks by young artists from across Victoria who studied VCE Art and Studio Arts in 2020 is part of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority’s (VCAA) annual VCE Season of Excellence showcasing outstanding students.
The art explores ideas related to isolation, contemporary life, the environment and identity, and celebrates the achievements of these students who have created extraordinary work that offers a thought-provoking insight into the thoughts and ideas of young people.
The annual exhibition, now in its 27th year, has been organised around two themes; inside and outside, which emerged from the works after the selection process.
In creating their works during the pandemic, many students looked outwards, observing their surrounding environment and changes to daily life, while others turned inward to explore the complex realities of cultural and personal identity, emotion and mental health.
Lucy Schacher’s series of paintings titled Routine, plays on the shift in routine students experienced in lockdown and celebrates the little moments in everyday life spent at home. Similarly, Bronte Green’s work Streets of your town reflects nostalgia and sentimentality in the understated beauty of suburbia. Milie Fraser-Smith is fascinated by the development of architecture over generations and expresses its layers and contrasts in her linocut print Urban.
Margaret Handolias’s For he’s a jolly good fellow shares the pain of solitude, exploring ideas of disconnection and isolation while Milly O’Donnell’s untitled collages reflect a desire to change stigmas in society around mental health conditions.
A variety of media including painting, photography, drawing, collage, video, print-making, sculpture, textiles, digital work and installation were used to convey the concerns and perspectives of Victoria’s young emerging artists.
The works on display in Top Arts 2021 also highlight the innovation and resourcefulness of young artists, who, while learning from home, created artworks using found objects or digital media when access to traditional materials or studio spaces was not possible.
Top Arts 2021 will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 26 March to 11 July 2021. Entry is free. For further details, please visit the NGV website: NGV.MELBOURNE