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Article - Maitland students' work shines on gallery walls

Published Monday 04 March, 2024.

Maitland students' work shines on gallery walls Image


Maitland students' work shines on gallery walls


A group of four talented young Maitland artists have had their HSC Visual Arts body of work included in an exciting art exhibition in Lake Macquarie.

St Joseph's College, Lochinvar's Maddeline Dawson and St Bede's Catholic College's Chelsea Brohier, Egan White and Talia Falconer have all had their work selected for First Class 23 at Lake Macquarie's Museum of Art and Culture.

The exhibition features students from schools across the Hunter, reflecting the scope and depth of the NSW HSC Visual Arts syllabus.

Maddeline Dawson's work Reverie represents her dreams during the HSC period of her life.

"I wrote all my dreams down and got inspiration from all of those together," she said.

Ms Dawson said it's surreal to have work on display in an exhibition.

"It's kind of surreal, I never thought I'd have something up in a gallery," she said.

"It's cool, it's an accomplishment."

She took her family to go see the exhibition when it opened on Saturday, February 10 and said they were very proud of her.

Now she has finished school, Ms Dawson plans on continuing making art, and has been playing around with some tattoo designs and working on something for a friend.

Talia Falconer's work depicts her transition as she finished high school and prepared to move out of home.

She noticed how deeply her family were a part of her identity and put that into her work.

Since creating the work, Ms Falconer has moved to Sydney and said in many ways it's what she expected.

"My art was about all the characteristics of family members that I noticed in my own life, and that I noticed myself doing when they weren't there, and in that way I felt like I was taking them with me," she said.

"I've noticed, being in Sydney without them, I still do those same characteristics and it makes me feel close to them even though we're far away."

Ms Falconer's work features oil paintings alongside a journal and her opal card.

"It was all centred around what I like to call 'the last supper painting' with the train and all my family in it, that was the conceptual idea at the centre of it that everything else was breaking out from," she said.

"It was a metaphorical thing of having them all on the train with me and I really like the imagery of that sort of baggage I had.

"It made me feel like I was still taking them with me in spirit."

First Class 23 is on at Museum of Art and Culture, Booragul until Monday, April 8.


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