The annual Top Arts exhibition might be celebrating its 26th birthday, but most of the artists in this lively showcase aren’t even 18 yet.
This year’s 43 works are the best of 1700 submitted by VCE Art and Studio Arts students from across the state. It’s a highlights reel of up-and-coming artists in Victoria.
The subject matter is diverse, exploring topics such as mental health, the impact of technology on everyday life, diversity and identity. And the mediums span painting, sculpture, performance art, theatre, photography and animation.
Highlights include Zach Smyrnis’s Progress Comics 2019, a vibrant series of comic-book covers influenced by street artist Keith Haring and comic book writer Frank Miller; Ignatz Cady Freer’s absurdist theatre film Tubularis Acrobatics 2019, which features three screens with actors performing repetitive tasks; and Shae Jones’s Portrait of Murrundindi 2019, a large scale painting depicting Wurundjeri Elder Murrundindi.
Race and identity are themes that run throughout the exhibition. Angelo Ooi’s ceramic vessels Transience 2019 and Manifestations 2019 draw inspiration from his Australian upbringing and Malaysian-Chinese heritage. Dusty Diddle’s interactive protest artwork An Index of Childhood Memories, Anger and Intervention 2019 features 32 hand-drawn postcards stored in a filing cabinet. The work reflects the artist’s wish to positively challenge racism, having experienced it firsthand.
10am to 5pm daily.