Student Artists Actually Explain the Meaning of their Work
The 5th Annual OUSA Art Week put over $3000 into the hands of Dunedin’s student artists, with 56 out of the 200 pieces on display were sold.
Students viewing the artwork were encouraged to vote for their favourite piece in the People’s Choice Awards. The winner was Chelsea Thomson’s work “Troubles”. Thomson said of her work, “It represents my time living in Christchurch. The snake coming out of the person’s mouth represents the feeling I would get as I heard each earthquake coming. After it hits, your insides feel numb, until adrenaline floods your system, then after that the rest becomes a blur. The heavy line work represents the blur, the car represents the sirens and alarms, the cellphones are a comment on communication breakdown, the brown figure is the brave-faced side of ourselves, and the blue figure is the opposite one who represents what we actually feel. The rats down the bottom represent what the people in charge have become now.”
Second place went to Trent Davis, who said: “The work ‘Good Dog’ is based on my flatmate’s Black Labrador named Rock. Although Rock is sick and deteriorating in his old age, my flatmate Mikey describes him as being his very loyal, faithful and dedicated friend while he was growing up. The messiness of his body in the work signifies that he is growing old and fading away, while the sharpness in his face, especially his eyes, shows his innocence as he remains a good-natured, obedient and cooperative dog.”
Franky Strachan, who won third place with “This is not a Harvest”, described her painting as “essentially about doom and chaos. It is about greed and the insatiable hunger for ‘more’, the repugnance which I personally hold for the rapacious culture in which we live, and the rubbish – verbal and material – which is constantly pumped into the ether from the powerful elite. I think things are rapidly heading in a dangerously unmanageable and impersonal direction. The death references are literal. Doom and gloom aside, the evolution of society is exciting, and I hope the painting shows the energy and vigour of modernity.”
Other events held during Art Week included a late-night art gallery crawl, a wrap party, and an art scavenger hunt, which was won by Christian McNab. No art was actually created during art week.