Art Gallery of NSW’s most popular exhibition of the year is now on. Artexpress is the annual showcase of outstanding work by NSW students created for the HSC visual arts examination.

Forty artworks have been selected from the folios of 9097 students from public and private schools across NSW. The multidisciplinary exhibition covers traditional styles, as well as ceramics, graphic design, photomedia, printmaking and sculpture. Leanne Carr, Artexpress’s curator, has said she is not only “impressed by each student’s maturity and depth of thinking, but also their confidence to experiment with new and innovative techniques.”

Carr says the exhibition embodies the spirit of this generation and offers a timely snapshot of the overlapping curiosities, passions and concerns occupying the minds of young Australians.

According to Carr, this year’s works are more socially and politically aware than in previous years, touching on topics such as gentrification, the phenomenon of social media and Australian cultural identity and mixed-cultural heritage. For example, in her piece Karmic Colonialism, Gosford High School’s Ellora Srivastava has reappropriated artwork from colonising countries and amalgamated it with the art of her Indian heritage.

Artexpress has been an annual event since 2005, and for the second year running will be presented in the Contemporary Galleries on lower level two of the gallery, which is also home to the John Kaldor Family Collection.

Artexpress Art After Hours events will be held in March, with details to be announced.

Artexpress runs until April 25 at the Art Gallery of NSW. Admission is free.