HSC showcase displays creativity, purpose

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The creativity and skill of Year 12 Visual Arts, Timber and Design and Technology students was on display at De La Salle College Revesby Heights’ HSC showcase.

Creative and Performing Arts Coordinator Michelle Grecko said the event was a way to shine a light on the effort senior students had put into their major works. “The standard is very high,” she said.

“Students have really developed their practice in their senior studies, and they’ve tapped into a potential that they hadn’t realised before.  They’ve pushed the boundaries of experimental art as well, painting expressively and not fearing that it has to be perfect or realistic.”

Year 12 student Jared Donkin has an interest in Biology. His series of drawings titled ‘Progeny’ was one of 11 HSC artworks on display. They were accompanied by Petrie dishes filled with a clear gel resin and items including computer chip, copper wire, and a bullet to illustrate how humans have become self-centred in their evolution from apes.

“It goes on to explain that we are so connected to technology that we don’t care about anything else and that even though we are similar, we’re killing off our own species,” he said.

Paul Weeks drew on what he learnt during school holiday courses at the National Art School to create detailed dry point etchings of Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building, titled ‘She Prevails’.

“You’ve got the construction, then fruit market stage, abandonment and eventual revival,” he said. “Basically it’s a comment on the enduring value of classical architecture in modern society and the transition of buildings across time. A lot of Sydneysiders can relate to the QVB building.”

Paul said each etching took up to 20 hours to carve on an acetate plate. The images were too light during his first printing attempt.  “We did a whole day of printing – about seven hours – and it didn’t work. I had no optimism left in me, but eventually it worked out. It’s [etching] what they call a dying art form. Because there are so many technological advancements in actual printing a lot of people don’t bother with it.”

Oxidised rust was a feature of Joshua Wilson’s war themed drawings and paintings titled ‘Unrelenting’. He named artist George Gittoes as an influence.

“It’s about dehumanisation,” he said. “When we talk about war the enemy is not seen as human. Their qualities of humanity are taken away. This isn’t just confined to one war so that’s why I chose general images of war.”

Year 12 Industrial Technology (Timber) student Brandan D’Astoli made a buffet cabinet from recycled timbers, including a large piece of mahogany he found in his backyard for his parents.  This became the cabinet top and floor joists and fence palings in cedar and a mix of hardwoods were used to craft the rest.

“I came to the realisation that a lot of the projects are pretty costly and had the idea to use recycled timbers as much as I can,” Brandan said.

“The initial statement had to run through what you wanted to make and who the customer or audience was. For the records you have to have a process, talk about finance, where the supplies come from and the tools you are using.

“I’ve had people ask me to build them things since I’ve shown them photos of my work.

Artworks from students in Years 7 to 11 joined the HSC offerings and Year 11 music students performed on the night.

A group of 19 hospitality students catered for an expected 250 guests.  They prepared canapés of beef and bacon sliders, pesto tomatoes with melted mozzarella, lamb meatballs with pomegranate yoghurt sauce, and pork and fennel sausage rolls, followed by chocolate ganache cupcakes, mousse with raspberry coulis and a trio of cheesecakes for dessert.

Hospitality teacher Tamara Borkowski said the event counted as service hours that are part of students’ assessment for a Certificate II in Hospitality. Their contribution to the evening was valued by staff, students and guests.

“Food really enhances any event and there is an air of elegance with canapés that really sets the tone for the evening,” Ms Borkowski said.

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