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University Of Wollongong’s Visual Arts Graduate Exhibition Showcases Emerging Talent

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The 2022 University of Wollongong (UOW) Visual Arts Graduate Exhibition has opened at the UOW Gallery, displaying artworks that conclude the three-year studies of UOW Bachelor of Creative Arts in Visual Arts and Visual Arts and Design, and Bachelor of Arts in Photography.

UOW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Patricia M. Davidson opened the exhibition and remarked on the calibre of the students’ work.

“The exhibition brings together a rich, eclectic mix of artworks that showcases a diversity of talent emerging from three years of practice-based studies and research investigation.”

Dr Agnieszka Golda, Visual Arts Discipline Leader said “We congratulate all our Visual Arts students for their amazing creativity and determination, for not giving up on developing their artistic skills during two COVID-19 lockdowns and for making us proud through their achievements. Their passion for wanting to make a difference in the world through art is evident in the artworks exhibited at the UOW Visual Arts Graduate Show 2022.”

“The School of the Arts, English and Media congratulates ‘Hatched: National Graduate Show 2023’ nominees Molly Bland, Zackary Durnford and Will O’Toole. The National Graduate Exhibition – Australia’s most significant survey of the emerging artists, held at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA). Hatched presents the works of leading graduates from art schools across the country since 1992. Their nomination means that their works will be presented to the panel of national and international artists and curators who will select the finalists for the 2023 exhibition at PICA,” Dr Golda said.

2022 Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts) graduate William O’Toole said that from online classes to socially distanced workshops, the impact of COVID-19 has defined his studying experience.

“It’s brilliant that our degree really puts an emphasis on in-studio making, but how do you teach life drawing or sculpture over Zoom? My cohort were about three weeks into the degree before we were sent home to isolate, and seeing how well and quickly the arts faculty managed to adapt studio-based classes for online learning was incredibly admirable.”

William’s work Burnouts is a critique of modern car dependency in Australian cities, inspired by the recent legislative changes banning the production of petrol cars.

“Burnouts aims to draw attention to the further ecological impacts that the switch to electric vehicles does not address. Using the turf to represent the native vegetation lost in favour of parking lots and expanding highways, I created a large-scale, tactile manifestation of the green spaces sacrificed to support our car-centric built environment.”

Visual Arts and Design major Zachary Dunford’s work Artificial Angels raises questions about AI’s capacity to shift working conditions across industries, presenting multiple angles of response to the situation.

“My handmade stencil printmaking processes reflect the histories of street art and political posters, making a composition which symmetry and perspective resembles renaissance paintings. I’ve used the assistance of AI programs to explore this new technology’s place within the art-making process.”

Kristen Eastlake, who will receive a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Visual Arts said, “I have had an excellent time studying at UOW. This experience provided me with a critical understanding of the importance of art and culture, while exposing me to several artistic styles and approaches.”