Get inspired at ARTEXPRESS

ARTEXPRESS showcases the work of top HSC art students from across New South Wales. The selection from 2012 has just been launched at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, opening a window into some of Australia’s most creative young minds. We caught up with one ARTEXPRESS artist, Edward Dooley, about his experience of creating a major work.

Edward Dooley is a 2012 graduate of Knox Grammar School, whose HSC major work collection ‘An Altered Environment’ is being featured in this year's ARTEXPRESS. His collection engages with the contemporary theme of the clash between man and nature through a range of arresting artistic mediums. In his Artist’s Statement to ARTEXPRESS, Edward described his work as ‘combining the postmodern mediums of installation, photography and found object sculpture to explore the destructive impact humans have on nature. I explored the textural interplay of surfaces in the natural environment, then juxtaposed and layered the found, natural materials with images from the urban environment created out of perspex.'

We chatted with Edward about his experience of creating a major work and where he plans to head next.

Why did you choose Art for your HSC? I chose art because I always enjoyed sketching and painting as a hobby, and I did the subject during my entire secondary schooling. And I also chose it as a bit of a break from all my other subjects which were heavily focused on essay writing and reading from textbooks. Art was a great escape but I underestimated the amount of work required for the body of work.

What was your inspiration for your project? My inspiration for my body of work came from a passion I had for photography, specifically landscape photography. I also saw photography as the easiest route for my artwork. My art teacher agreed this was a suitable start but I needed a theme and reason behind my photography, and that's where the man versus nature idea comes from.

Where were your photos taken? I photographed at several unique locations, quiet beaches, rivers, areas with lots of greenery and then factory and manufacturing environments which I used to juxtapose the other half of my work.

Did you have much experience in photography and editing before you began the major work? How did you develop your skills? I didn't have too much photography experience prior to the HSC but the practice I had was done through art class during years 7 through to 11. But it was a project in year 11 where we had to produce our own found object sculptures and photograph them in different landscapes that made me appreciate environmental photography. And as for the editing, I struggled with photoshop in previous years but i was forced to learn in order to enhance my work.

What are you doing this year? This year I'm doing a Bachelor of Arts course at Macquarie University and I'm majoring in Media, Culture and Communication. I am interested in pursuing a career in journalism and I figured this might be a good starting point as I am still not entirely sure of what I want to do but I just thought that by doing a broad course I would eventually find something that interests me.

Do you have any plans to continue with photography? I don't have any big plans to continue with photography as of yet, however if I do find myself heading towards a career path in journalism then I could also possibly involve myself in photo journalism. As I said before, I'm still looking at my options and photography could easily be something that I would take a look at in the future.

Thanks Edward, and good luck at university this year!

ARTEXPRESS is a free exhibition that runs at the Art Gallery of NSW until April 14, and is a must for all 2013 HSC Arts students. Check out the full line-up here