The annual touring Top Art exhibition presents outstanding work completed by student artists as part of their assessment for NCEA Level 3. Demonstrating their skilful use of materials and evolution of ideas, emerging artists from schools across New Zealand creatively express their passions and concerns through resolved works of art.
Aratoi is proud to continue to support and celebrate art education, and to be a part of this great opportunity for students to engage with the arts and share their art with peers. Our educators Kate and Becky, share their thoughts on three of their favourite folios form Top Art Exhibition 2020.
Whanganui Girls' College
A ‘vanitas’ painting contains collections of objects symbolic of the inevitability of death and the transience and vanity of earthly achievements and pleasures. It exhorts the viewer to consider mortality and to repent. I see in Nikita McDonald’s meticulously composed paintings layers of symbolism laid out to be read like a book. Mirrors reflecting a doorway to the spirit world, birds and flowers elements of nature that reminds us of the certainty of passing time. But what I like most about these paintings is the serene feeling McDonald depicts and her commitment to aesthetic beauty despite the confronting subject matter.
Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu
This skilful depiction appeals to me. As the happy owner of three hens myself, I can see in Hannah Anderson-Brooks work a trueness to the honourable character of a chicken. As Anderson-Brooks folio develops, her message becomes clearer, questions around the exploration of chickens are raised. Her use of text is clever, and I think it is successful in showing the contrast of nature and industry.
Cashmere High School
I can imagine that Alberta Hall took lots of photos of things that she loved as she developed her portfolio. These photos are full of nostalgia and remind me of the many beach snap shots I have taken myself. There is something eternally appealing about an ocean horizon. I like how the experimentation gets tactile in the last board. To me it is here that the photography merges into something else, almost sculptural.