Identity, the natural world and the issues of today are explored by forty of Victoria’s most exciting emerging artists in this year’s Top Arts showcase. On display at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, the exhibition will present forty-seven works drawn from over 1,350 applications, in a range of media including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, digital and mixed media.
Now in its 28th year, this year’s Top Arts exhibition highlights the resilience and creativity of young artists who completed their VCE studies during a global pandemic. Inspired by complex themes including isolation, societal pressures, injustice, time, home and the environment, the works on display offer an insight into the personal experiences of these young artists and the issues important to them.
Highlights from the exhibition include Arthur Foulkes’ painting A Party in the Closet depicting male figures dressed in feminine clothing emerging from a wooden closet, challenging gender stereotypes that restrain men from diverse expressions of self. Further exploring themes of identity and belonging, Amy Pham’s painting The Weight of Your World shows a plethora of hands surrounding her self-portrait, serving as a metaphor of the opinions of others that dictate how we act and live.
Daniel Ireland’s Breeze is a performance piece in which the artist, wearing a coat of blue and green tassels, dances in a contemporary and interpretive style to explore the beauty of freedom of nature and the threat humans pose to the environment. For Annie Zhang, immersing in the beauty of the Australian landscape provided deep inspiration for her oil painting Pastoral Xanadu: Outback Autumn which she painted based on a photo from a family trip. Similarly, Zara Blake used nature to assist in the creation of her series, capturing the image of feathers and horsehair on the surface of her clay forms in her work titled Ranges Close By.
Top Arts 2022 highlights the NGV’s strong commitment to arts education, as well as its role as a platform for emerging Victorian artists to express their diverse ideas, attitudes and beliefs. Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV said ‘In its 28th year, we are proud to shine a spotlight on the artists of tomorrow through the annual Top Arts exhibition. These young people are creative, resilient, and offer thoughtful and surprising reflections on themes that are both challenging and optimistic. This year’s Top Arts showcase will inspire other young people to use art and design to understand the world around them.’
Top Arts 2022 will be on display from 17 March – 24 July 2022 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Flinders St &, Russell St, Melbourne. Free entry. Further information is available via the NGV website: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/top-arts-2022/