Alister Henskens portrait
Alister Henskens portrait

Art North Exhibition

Alister Henskens SC MP at the Art North Exhibition

21st March 2024

Mr ALISTER HENSKENS (Wahroonga) (17:12): During my time as the member for Wahroonga, I have enjoyed attending the ART NORTH exhibition at the Grace Cossington Smith Gallery at Abbotsleigh. Each year, the gallery displays the outstanding HSC major artworks created by year 12 visual arts students from schools across the Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby district. It was my pleasure to again officially open the exhibition this year. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, photo media, printmaking and ceramics are just a few of the many types of media that the talented students use to make the artworks that go towards their final school marks. From Normanhurst Boys High School, Nathan Ann created a designed object titled Proposal for Sejong Square, Museum of Korean Arts. The cleverly designed object incorporated traditional culture and identity of modern cityscapes and architecture, reflecting Nathan's Korean heritage. Also from Normanhurst Boys High School, Namo Wongsiranon drew colourful pictures that explore the immersion of Namo's cultural identity in the Australian landscape.

From Abbotsleigh, Louise Barbour created a painting titled Mother, it's not your shame to carry. The beautiful painting draws upon Louise's family, particularly her mother, who, as a Russian woman, feels shame for the ongoing war with Ukraine. The painting drew upon the famous painting by Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring. Another student from Abbotsleigh, Jeremia Kim, used the medium of printmaking to create the piece Unravelling Sensory Worlds: Calming the Chaos. The unique piece is described by Jeremia as illustrating sensory overload in an abstract means. It was Jeremia's way of envisioning the juxtaposing but simultaneous harmonious nature of sensory experiences. From Pymble Ladies' College, Kaitlyn Chan created a photo-media piece titled Saturated Disclosures. The image depicts both the traditional and modern aspects of Hong Kong through a camera lens. It was inspired by Susan Sontag's famous quote, "The painter constructs; the photographer discloses."

Also from Pymble Ladies' College, Ning Ning Jing drew an incredible picture titled Conversations in Water Colour. Ning Ning Jing describes the drawing as a celebration of the people in our lives who we learn from, laugh with and share stories with through genuine communication. Using postmodern mediums of photo rastering, digital media and printing to explore fungi, Jeremy Chee from Knox Grammar School created a printmaking artwork titled Agaricus Bisporus. The artwork depicts themes of process, decay, growth and regeneration. Also from Knox Grammar, Oliver Verheul made a collection of works using polymer clay and sculptural assemblage titled Cogito Ergo Sum. Oliver describes the figurative sculptures as a reflection of the elderly, the passing of time and the fragility of the human condition.

From Turramurra High School, Orlando Douglas-Giles, with whom I had a long chat, created a photo‑media artwork titled Where did you go?, which explores Orlando's relationship with Australia, drawing on our country's natural and built environment. Another student from Turramurra High School, Nicole Novodon, created the piece Amort Amorists - The Greek Myth of Selene and Endymion. The painting was created using oil on canvas and draws upon Greek mythology for inspiration. From Barker College, Daniel Holmes used time‑based form to create the artwork Mapping Memories. Drawing inspiration from childhood and nostalgia, Daniel created a piece reflecting his family and memories. Also from Barker College, Emma Maltman painted an artwork titled Larapinta Trail, which uses abstract techniques to portray the raw experience and feeling of immersion and freedom when hiking the Larapinta Trail in central Australia.

From Hornsby Girls High School, Christine Lee used ceramics to create her pieces titled Can-opic Jars. It is a play on words, as she used ceramics to make can-shaped art. The jars were creative and unique, representing modern consumer culture and mass consumption. From Loreto Normanhurst, Colours of Solitude were paintings created by Emily Markham. They depict how sad and lonely experiences can also be perceived as comforting and peaceful. Another student from Loreto Normanhurst, Abigail Wehrhahn, used printmaking, specifically techniques of intaglio print on paper and x-ray film, to create her piece titled Those Who Are Ignorant of Her Strength. She specifically focused on scoliosis, the curvature of the spine and how beauty and weakness, freedom and restriction, and fragility and strength can coexist.

Charlotte McMahon, from St Leo's Catholic College, drew a piece titled Pandora's Code, which Charlotte describes as exploring the depths of personal and collective fears that emerge from the Pandora's box of future innovations and the quest for "the ideal". I congratulate all of those students for their incredible works of art. I also thank their teachers, schools, parents and guardians for supporting them during the making of their beautiful pieces of art.