INSPIRATION can be found in the most random places; just ask Scotch College graduate Benjamin Corser whose schoolwork Australian Summer was selected as one of 58 pieces in Year 12 Perspectives 2015.
The 18-year-old was struggling for a way to display his artwork when struck with the imagery of ripping out his grandma’s Hills Hoist the previous weekend.
He quickly created a small mock and was given the green light to proceed from his art teacher, Stuart Earnshaw.
“I didn’t really know if it was going to work but my teacher absolutely loved how original and iconic to Australian culture it was,” Corser, of West Leederville, said.
The finished piece comprises a bamboo constructed Hills Hoist with digital prints cut in the shape of everyday clothing, including underwear, socks and jeans.
“The images are linked with the theme ‘beneath the surface’ to show different cultures’ ideas around the meaning of death, including in Hindi, Japanese, Papuan and Christian traditions,” he said.
“The meaning behind my work is that culture or traditions are being diluted by the influence of other cultures, such as Western consumerist culture, and that the Hills Hoist is a metaphor for this.”
Corser said he had not believed his mum when she first told him he had been selected for the annual exhibition at the Art Gallery of WA.
An hour later he received a call from his school and realised it was real.
“I kind of kept it under wraps for a while and it was more my teachers who were excited for me,” he said.
“It wasn’t until my art teacher said not many people can say they’ve had their art work in the WA Art Gallery that I realised what it meant to be picked for Perspectives.”
Corser said he was keeping on a creative career path and looking towards a job in architecture.
“I don’t know quite what it is about it but it just fascinates me how you can create art with a building,” he said.
“The Chrysler Building or Empire State Building are works of art, not just a structure.”
His advice to current Year 12 students was simply to enjoy their last year at school.
“I know teachers and parents have already said this but looking back, last year was a pretty fun year for me,” Corser said.
“And art students shouldn’t be afraid to take a risk.
“Be creative, create something outside the box; it might not pay off all the time, but who knows what could happen? Be brave and bold.”
What: Year 12 Student Perspectives
Where: Art Gallery of WA
When: showing until June 13