CHALLENGING stereotypes of masculinity is one of the many issues teenage artists have tackled in this year’s Year 12 Perspectives exhibition.
The annual art competition features artwork by 57 high school graduates across Perth, including Swan View’s Montana Pearce, Rachel McCabe, of The Vines, Lesmurdie’s Amberley Bradley and Melissa Clements, from Kalamunda.
Former La Salle College student Montana (18) said she spent four months working on her perspex creation The Amalgamation, representing the various layers of personal identity.
“I’m inspired by a lot of sci-fi… (and) by Gustav Klimt and a lot of cubist artists,” she said.
“I wanted to do something different, I wanted to use a different medium; it was kind of just a bit of a risk but I think it turned out well.”
She said it was very flattering to be selected for the exhibition, which opens at The Art Gallery of WA on January 28.
“I actually screamed, I was so excited,” she said.
“You don’t expect to be accepted into Perspectives because it’s such a big thing.”
Swan Christian College graduate Rachel (17) used her piece to challenge the idea of masculinity and makeup being only for women.
She enlisted a male friend for her four-part photograph series Enforce Your Masculinity that she hoped got people talking.
“I want for people to have their opinions on the whole thing changed or challenged,” she said.
“And for them to think about why men have to be masculine and why wearing makeup makes them less masculine.”
Melissa made her Study after Caravaggio’s St Jerome: Part 1 and 2 oil and charcoal on canvas work while at Perth College and said St Jerome had been presented in Christian history as a figure of study.
“Whilst part 1 portrays a moment of creative enlightenment, part 2 shows the inevitable anti-climactic aftermath,” she said.
“The intoxicating excitement realised by creative epiphany is too often damaged by the entrapping and obsessive nature of perfectionism.”
Kalamunda Senior High School graduate Amberley Bradley described her portrait of her sister, Rise, as showing the struggle of Year 12.
“It depicts a person that could be both rising from and falling into the water,” she said.
“My work not only portrays the hardship of Year 12 but my own personal struggle in life and everyday things.
“The question is: do you fall when things get tough or will you rise?”
The artworks will be on display until April 2.