Published on: 15 February 2024

Christ Church is thrilled to announce that three of our Visual Arts graduates from the Class of 2023 – Jack Collis, Jakob Kinney-Graham and Thomas Lloyd, will have their work showcased in The West Australian Pulse at the Art Gallery of WA. Congratulations to the below students, who have shared their artwork descriptions below. We look forward to seeing their works in the exhibition (confirmed dates to be announced) and encourage our community to enjoy this fantastic celebration of young artists.

Insomniac (2023) by Jack Collis

This artwork was created through a lack of sleep both literally and metaphorically. The idea of getting such little sleep due to the distractions that technology provide is commonplace across most ages in these contemporary times. As a society I feel we are too invested on getting the next hit of dopamine, instead of devoting time to taking care of ourselves with sleep.

I used black 3.0 acrylic as a base material to depict the rich, pitch-black palette needed for the night sky to resemble a computer monitor. This was then juxtaposed against the moody, intense palette of oil paint used to depict the streetscape created as an impression of a projection on a screen.

I composed the five figures loitering around the house when they should be sleeping, each engaged in various technological activities. The sharp corners of the house, the pale lighting from the streetlight, the bright blue light that projects up onto the figures and their faces, are all man made, disruptive and distracting.

The features on each figure contrasts with the light from the screen and the darkness of the night and encapsulate faces that are slaves to their screens. They are so focused on digital technology that they lose track of time and are a warning to the viewer.

Identity Warrior: It’s personal (2023) by Jakob Kinney-Graham

Cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity. – Robert Alan

This strength is what I wanted to explore in a personal way to express the diversity of my cultural heritage.

An influence I had on developing my artwork came as inspiration from my uncle Garry Sibasado. He is an indigenous artist who combines contemporary techniques with traditional designs. His works express our family’s history and culture, emphasizing and celebrating our diverse ethnicity. I have taken a leaf out of his book by incorporating traditional designs and contemporary techniques to pay homage to the three elements of my background: Scottish, Chinese and Indigenous.

I chose the shield icon as the basis for my sculpture series because it is a symbol of personal armour worn by warriors. The shield is used to intercept attacks and protect during combat; a sign that epitomizes no retreat. It reflects the communication I wanted to deliver about the strength I feel from my family make up and I embellished each of the shields with linear markings that embrace aspects from the three cultural origins of my heritage.

Sculpting each of the individual shield forms, designing the drawings for laser rasterising, co-ordinating, styling and choreographing the photo shoot for the portraits, finishing the surfaces with specific paints and varnish, and welding the stands showcases a breadth of skills I needed to develop to create the artwork.

Just add… (2023) by Thomas Lloyd

‘Just Add’ explores consumerist symbolism and how in a multi-cultural continent like Australia, we have developed a quick and disposal palette from diverse cultural influences. Quick meals, throw away with disposable packaging with less time connecting to others, are all concepts that reveal themselves in my composition.

‘Just Add…’ challenges 21st century consumeristic ideals. Taking inspiration from the traditional genre of still life painting where the practice allowed me to present everyday food-based objects, we have access to in Australia through three oil paintings on canvas, captures Australia’s contemporary diversified culinary palette.

I portrayed the subtle beauty in all things fast, slickly packaged, and momentary by selecting a diverse range of quick, just add meal types available in my local supermarket. I photographed them with studio lighting and decided on their collective composition. I wanted to champion each food item as if it is something to be admired. To separate the cultural variations alone on each canvas I represented the Asian influence with rich yellows, greens, and reds in the ‘Two-minute noodle packet’ heavily adorned with oriental motifs, a traditional English prompt with the ‘porridge sachet and apple’ in a subtle palette of whites and creams alongside a quintessential American ‘pop-corn packet’ in deep blues and intense yellows. By just adding one element of heat or water to each package a quick meal materialises.

I placed each of the paintings on individual sculptural red and white tablecloths, constructed by laser cutting wooden panels as a homage to the cheap and cheery café scene. Placed alongside one another they symbolise a bonded table of world influences, fastened together by fast food and its inevitable necessity of consumption at a quick pace. I communicated that time spent at the traditional table with family is less of a priority in today’s contemporary Australian culture.