ARTEXPRESSION, PLC Sydney’s annual exhibition showcasing HSC Visual Arts Bodies of Work officially opened on Wednesday 12 August. The evening began in the AKT theatre where Linda Chiba (Deputy Principal), commended each artist for the unwavering focus they had applied under challenging conditions which had culminated in an exhibition of sensitive and highly accomplished works.
It was then time to farewell Ariana Galanos (Art and Design Captain 2020). Ariana spoke fondly of her experiences in the role and congratulated her peers on their achievements before introducing her successor Amy Hur. Amy presented Ariana with a gift on behalf of the PLC Sydney Community in appreciation of her impressive leadership and many contributions to The Croydon.
Following, guest speaker, Ms Joanna Strumpf (Direction of Sullivan & Strumpf - Australia and Singapore) addressed the audience. Joanna expressed her delight in the high calibre of work on exhibition and acknowledged the obstacles students had faced and overcome. She also noted, though, that in many ways, these challenges had created the perfect conditions for making art - pointing out that keeping away from social distractions and spending time alone is what artists do. Furthermore, Joanna shared her insights into the rich and varied experiences of a life dedicated to art as well as the responsibilities and expectations of artists when she said,
'The life of a contemporary artist is complex, but also wonderful. As well as being artists, they are also leaders, commentators, activists, educators, mentors and visionaries. This is not new. Throughout history artists have been at the forefront of social movements, and so it is natural that artists today are looked to for leadership on social change. Artists are creative and critical thinkers and more and more this is being valued. Artists need not only to be able to discuss their own work, they need to be able to comment on our times, they need to be good public speakers, they need to be ambitious for themselves, but they also need to be compassionate and work within and support their community. They need to be negotiators, grant writers and sometimes even politicians. They need to be able to move within the highest echelons of our society – but also be above it. We expect much of our artists – but to be an artist is to be a very special person in the first place.'
Nearing the end of the formalities, Jo Knight (Head of Visual Arts) took the opportunity to recognise the huge effort and commitment of every one of her students and also acknowledged their families for their willingness to accommodate artmaking in their homes which was integral to the realisation of the artworks on show.
Awards were presented to all of the Visual Arts students before Claire Shi (2019 Art and Design Captain) awarded the Captain’s Choice award to Amelia Rader and the Mr Paxton Award was presented to Maddy Gee. On behalf of both classes Anna Dowling, Linda Liu, Amelia Rader and Giselle Wong presented a gift of thanks to Jo Knight and Mr Paxton (Visual Arts and Design Technician and Gallery Manager).
The evening concluded with a light supper and closer inspection of the artworks displayed. Altogether, it was a wonderful celebration of our talented students - Congratulations to all.
Image: Joanna Strumpf and Ariana Galanos.
For more information on Adelaide Perry Gallery, please visit their microsite.