Top Arts is arguably Victoria’s premier art accolade for young artists completing their VCE in Art or Studio Arts studies. For the last two decades years, a handful of entrants have been selected from across the state to exhibit their work in Victoria’s biggest and most prestigious gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria.
This year, in line with the 20th anniversary of Top Arts, the free exhibition has had a slight makeover and been renamed StArt Up: Top Arts 2014. Because not only is the exhibition about the top art you’ll find in high schools in Victoria, it’s about supporting young talent and giving them a start to pursue a career in the arts. Inside you’ll find photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and video works selected from over 3000 submissions.
I visited the exhibition on its opening night and was really awed by some of the young talent on show. Here are some of my favourite works:
The intricate detail of the felt-tip pen drawings of Beyond the memories (Fushigina taken, futatsu no sekai) by Darcy Whitworth, a reflection of her time in Japan.
Hundreds of carved bamboo insects in Swarms by Madeleine McDonough.
Look closely and these blooms are actually made up of body parts of the female figure. Botanical anatomy 1 by Adelle Elksnis.
The beautiful clouds of folded paper in The subjectivity of interpretation by Adrian Del-Re.
The incredible detail in the tiny specks of sugar covering the girl’s face. Sugar by Stephanie Pidcock.
A range of talks and learning programs accompany StArt Up: Top Arts 2014 and you can view workbooks, folios and preparatory material to get an insight into the creative process.
StArt Up: Top Arts 2014 is an interesting collection of diverse works and it’s inspiring to see what the next generation of artists are working on now. Who knows, this year’s crop could become the Next Big Thing in the art world soon.